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February 20, 2011




Page: 2/37

Home > 2011 Issues > February 20, 2011

SPECIAL REPORT

Congress is undermining Mamata in West Bengal
Might even strike clandestine deals with CPM

By Asim Kumar Mitra

It is an open secret that since the parliamentary election whenever the Congress has tried to go against the decision of the alliance led by Mamata they have miserably failed. There were only one or two exceptions during the parliamentary poll. But then it should be noted that they all happened in North Bengal which was traditionally a stronghold of Congress.

It has been alleged that the responsibility of massacre in Netai village is of the ruling party. The LF government was saying that it was TMC which was responsible. Further, they say that TMC was in collusion with Maoists as two alleged Maoists Asim Mahato and Amiya Mahato were arrested from the relief camp of the TMC.

COME what may there is no other choice left for Congress except to beg or borrow the partnership of Trinamool Congress in the forthcoming assembly election of West Bengal. There are apparently three reasons for this perception: One, Congress boss Sonia Gandhi wants that there should be an alliance with TMC as its leader Mamata Banerjee has been identified as the only leader who can successfully throw the CPM out of power.

She does not care whether Mamata is going to adopt right or wrong way to achieve this goal. So criticism of Mamata by her own party men on different issues simply has no meaning. Two, poll alliance of Congress with TMC is all the more necessary simply because Central Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee wants to give his son Abhijit debut entry into the field of politics through the ensuing assembly election of the state. Pranab wants to set up Abhijit as candidate from the Nalhati (District Birbhum) constituency. He knows it for sure that without the help of TMC or for that matter Mamata Banerjee, Abhijit cannot get through the election. Because of this very serious personal reason, Pranab is all out to maintain and consolidate the alliance with TMC. Three, when West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr Manas Bhuniya was complaining against Mamata’s high handedness in running the poll alliance between INC and TMC to Pranab Mukherjee, he made it abundantly clear that to a certain stage complaining is alright. But do not go beyond that as you must have understood that in the next poll if we go without this alliance, our condition will be like that of post-poll position of Congress in Bihar. Congress in this state will be decimated to that kind of worst position. Pranab warned Manas by saying, "It is as simple as that."

Why Pranab says so? Because it is an open secret that since the parliamentary election whenever the Congress has tried to go against the decision of the alliance led by Mamata they have miserably failed. There were only one or two exceptions during the parliamentary poll. But then it should be noted that they all happened in North Bengal which was traditionally a stronghold of Congress.

So far as election prospect of Mamata’s party is concerned there are certain grey areas where Mamata is really weak and she is very serious to fill up these gaps. In North Bengal, the tension is going on between TMC and INC. But it did not take up any bloody turn as Pranab Mukherjee, under the instruction of Sonia Gandhi, every now and then coming to the state to keep the PCC under control. He is successful in making the state leadership understand the ground realities.

But in other grey areas identified as both East and West Midnapore districts, Purulia district and certain parts of Bankura, Barddhaman and Hooghly districts, Mamata is facing tough times because in these areas the resistance has been put up by the so-called "organised" party CPM. No doubt, Mamata’s party has been jeered at the political circle as one-man party, it is a record for her that in all the elections took place since parliamentary poll, her party returned with flying colours. CPM and its comrades are still unfazed to hold back every inch of their political ground. It is for that reason only that the political skirmishes are increasing in the state.

The official report released by the Director General of Police of the State Naparajit Mukherjee says "on an average, everyday there is at least one political murder in West Bengal." Both ruling party and the opposition in retaliation are on killing spree. Sufferer is common man. Is this the freedom people yearned for? But as the election is approaching very fast and now it is almost round the corner, the ruling conglomerate of the state has become restless to keep their hold in tact on the levers of power by hook or crook. It is for this reason every incident is getting two opposing dimensions. Intimidation and terrorisation by the ruling party has become the order of the day. But they themselves are not accepting this view. Although facts telling a different story. For instance: it has been alleged that the responsibility of massacre in Netai village is of the ruling party. The LF government was saying that it was TMC which was responsible. Further, they say that TMC was in collusion with Maoists as two alleged Maoists Asim Mahato and Amiya Mahato were arrested from the relief camp of the TMC. Surprisingly enough, in the next day’s police report of the incident it was not at all mentioned. Rather they had denied any such link. But a day after it took a different turn. The administration had claimed that they had recovered incriminating documents from both the said Maoists which prove that they were active members of Maoists organisation. Police also had started singing the same tune. But the truth came out when these two Maoists were produced before the court. Let me quote from Times of India (4.2.11.): "Twist in the Tale: Accused Maoists Asim and Amiya Mahato told court they were taken by the police to a deserted ground before daybreak and asked to dig. They denied any role in the Silda EFR (Eastern Frontier Rifles) camp attack."

Mamata Banerjee charged the police and administration that they themselves are culprits. She said, "Party workers being framed as Maoists in false cases." On February 4, 2011, when Netai village massacre case came for hearing in the High Court of Calcutta, Chief Justice JN Patel observed in the court room when state advocate general Balai Roy could not say anything concrete about the progress in the Netai killings investigation. The Chief Justice also made it clear a second time that the court would hand the probe to CBI if the CID failed to make any headway. Nine villagers were killed in Lalgarh’s Netai village after gunmen fired into a crowd, allegedly from inside a CPM party office on the morning of January 7. On the other hand, advocate general Balai Roy could not tell the court how many of the seven persons named in the FIR have been arrested. Partha Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly and TMC leader charged the administration with hiding the facts as five of the seven accused had been sheltered by them and two others are moving around Lalgarh area with police security. Chatterjee has declared that he would go to the court with a complaint that the administration has submitted a "false affidavit" before the court.

Chief Election Commissioner, SY Qurashi, is apprehensive of peaceful election in West Bengal especially on the background of its violent activities during the elections. In his opinion it would be more difficult to maintain peace during election in West Bengal.

Qurashi has sent his deputy Mr Vinod Zutsi to the state to survey the situation. He has already asked the government to recover arms and ammunitions stockpiled in the houses of political cadres. He further asked to take stock of licensed guns whether they are lying with the original license holder or they have been leased to some other persons. The governor of the state MK Narayanan has also supported the view point of the election commission. But as usual, the response on the part of the state government has been miserably unfortunate.




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