THE Indian National Congress in West Bengal is facing a crucial problem of its survival in the State. Politically speaking, this party has virtually stopped its growth. Days in and days out, the party is getting shrinked. Although the party is 126 years old, it is now dependent on a very small party – Trinamool Congress – for its own survival. These two parties are in alliance in the State politics. But in West Bengal politics TMC is commanding. Hence, in almost each and every alliance-matters TMC used to say the last word which sometimes was very humiliating for the INC. Still they have to absorb the bitter pill for the sake of keeping the alliance alive.
In North Bengal INC commands largest number of Assembly seats and according to the alliance-norms TMC is bound to honour the conditions put forward by the INC. But TMC is flouting this condition whenever they think that it is convenient for them to dishonour. In Maldah, a district of North Bengal, the INC leader Goutam Chakravorty was lured in such a way that he joined TMC. After him Smt. Sabitri Mitra, another very strong leader of Maldah joined TMC. Somen Mitra, once President of WBPCC and during his time Mamata Banerjee was under his command and again Mamata picked up quarrel with him before she left the party. But in the year 2006, before the Assembly elections Somen Mitra had joined TMC. Mamata gave him and his wife tickets for contesting the Assembly elections. Both of them were elected. But Mamata had kept Somen waiting for assigning him to any important post or responsibility. Surprisingly enough, Somen, like an obedient follower adopted the policy of ‘they also serve, who only stand and wait’.
Subrata Mukherjee is another leader who had severed his relationship with INC. After joining TMC he became the Mayor of Kolkata. On the eve of last Municipal election, Subrata resigned from TMC and joined Congress. Till now he belongs to that party. But mysteriously he is maintaining connections with Mamata Banerjee. On the other hand Mamata is also entrusting him with certain responsibilities which in the fitness of things party members should have enjoyed. What is the reason behind it? And further the question is why Congress is tolerating this? Everything is shrouded in mystery.
Another peculiar thing is Congress has removed certain senior leaders from the posts of district presidentship just to please the TMC leader. They are Shankar Singh, Nirbed Roy, Pradip Ghosh and Pradip Bhattacharya. The removal of Pradip Bhattacharya from the post of President, WBPCC is very significant. Because these are the leaders who have been allegedly very close to left parties or for that matter CPM. Although no one in Congress thinks that to be close with CPM is a crime, rather they have been pursuing this policy since long. But at this juncture Congress leadership does not want to take any risk of alienating TMC or Mamata Banerjee for the simple reason that leaving Mamata would mean end of Congress. At least not only up to 2011, but up to 2014 (i.e. up to the next Lok Sabha election) Congress would maintain status quo with TMC. Party high command Sonia Gandhi is very clear in her mind that they cannot get strong foothold in West Bengal without the help of Mamata. Not only that, there is another very crucial reason i.e. if Mamata gets out of the clutches of Congress, the other conglomeration in the politics would take advantage of the situation and for them they cannot forget even for a moment that BJP is waiting in the wings. Under these circumstances State BJP would immediately jump into the fray and it is significant that of late, State BJP has geared up its organisation. If the alliance of Mamata with the Congress is broken for whatever reason, Mamata will have no hesitation to come close to BJP because she has reverence for certain BJP leaders and now ‘communal’ stigma with BJP is not so strong.
So it is the fear of BJP that has brought Congress closer to the Trinamool and not that they want to remove Communists from power with the help of TMC. INC always thinks that Communists are their distant ally. At the same time they consider BJP as their enemy number one.