THE West Bengal politics has entered a crucial rather a complicated phase. The volte face of Trinamool Congress MP Mr. Kabir Suman, the failure of the central government in tackling both Maoist activities in Lalgarh area and the escalation of price rise and latest political game initiated by Mamata Banerjee, have all contributed to make the political situation in West Bengal confusing.
On the one hand Mamata has gone against the central government of which she is a senior member and on the other hand, she has gone against the Maoists when there was a public perception that she has been a sympathiser of Maoist movement.
To understand the whole situation, a little bit of backgrounder is necessary. First of all let us assess the role of Kabir Suman who is a MP of Trinamool Congress (TMC). He has, by his role, proved that he was a person planted by the Maoists in the flock of TMC. He is talking in the language of Maoists because Maoists were annoyed with the attitude-shift of Mamata Banerjee towards them. They claim that Mamata was nowhere in the vicinity of Nandigram movement. It was a red fort. In the name of Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee, Maoists had started a movement against the ruling Left Front government. There was Siddiqullah on the forefront. Then they put forward Chchatradhar Mahato as leader. At the same time they had planned to create a “Civil Society” with the help of Mahasweta Devi, a renowned litterateur and a long time activist for the upliftment of tribal people, for exposing the brutality of the Left Front government and for creating an atmosphere of sympathy for them in the society. In fact knowledgeable people say that the “Civil Society” is a brainchild of Mahasweta Devi. Not a single member of this society is a member of either Trinamool Congress or Congress. On the other hand Mahasweta was hands in glove with the Maoists. On the basis of certain definite information from the sleuths, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Chief Minister had recently started talking of her arrest.
When Mamata Banerjee had entered the arena of Nandigram she had practically no ground-support there. She took the help of above mentioned people and groups. Maoists were in dire need of her help because they wanted to save their most dependable activists Dola Sen and Purnendu Guha from arrest. At that point of time both the activists got shelter of TMC and they were saved from arrest. Instead of these two persons police arrested Gour Chakravorty and Chhatradhar Mahato.
Maoists were happy that their purpose was served. Mamata was also happy as she got the political mileage for which she was fighting. Since Panchayat election of 2008, TMC was on a winning spree. In parliamentary election it was havoc in their favour. In all other elections, TMC had established their supremacy. Now elections to 81 municipalities are going to take place in the month of May-June of this year. So Mamata is busy deciding her party’s strategy for it.
At this stage, Maoists wanted to plant a person of their own who can keep an eye on the activities of TMC. So they had, in consultation with Mahasweta Devi, planted Kabir Suman in TMC and he became Member of Parliament on TMC ticket. As the Maoist movement moved to Lalgarh-Mangalkot area, Mamata could feel that politically she was totally blank in that area. And the fact remained that Maoists had made the area a complete “free zone” of their own where they would not allow any other party be it TMC or CPM or Congress or anybody.
The dilemma before TMC was two fold. One, if they want to win the 2011 assembly election they have to field candidates for all the seats of municipal elections. But it is not possible as there is a coalition with Congress. They will legitimately demand their share of seats for contesting. But Mamata would not allow this. This has been her practice with all the coalition partners. When she was in NDA, BJP realised it and now the Congress is facing the music. To tide over the pressure tactics of Mamata, Congress has adopted a strategy of threatening indirectly. Two, by now, Mamata could follow the actual game plan of Maoists. So she has started opposing them openly. At the same time she has started pressurising the central government especially Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
(The writer is a former member of Press Council of India.)