They are Afraid of Fighting Election in West Bengal
Asim Kumar Mitra
Recently Ms. Mamata Banerjee had threatened the central government saying the Lok Sabha poll may take place earlier than its scheduled time in 2014. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) was, at the outset, very much enthusiastic about it. But now, when it looked at its own organisational set up in the state it has become apprehensive of such an early poll of Lok Sabha for the simple reason that organisationally CPI(M) is now in total disarray. So called number of acclaimed leaders of the party has gone against the party and once acclaimed to be a most well-knit organisation in the whole of India is now afraid of taking any disciplinary action against leaders.
In different districts leaders like Sushanta Ghosh (former minister of the state, he was in jail for seven months till he got bail and now he is facing number of murder cases), Lakshman Sett (former MP and known to be ‘uncrowned king’ of Midnapore district is now passing his days in jail while his bail petitions are continuously rejected by the honourable court), Anil Bose, (a seven time elected MP of the party had been rejected by the people in the last Lok Sabha election. This person has got a special knack of abusing opposition leaders in filthy language—even he called Mamata a “prostitute”—, was suspended from the party. He has dared the state party secretary Biman Bose to sue against him, a defamation case against him, which is going to happen for the first time in the history of CPI(M). The party is very much perturbed with this kind of development.), Amitabh Nandi of North 24 Parganas district has been dropped from the party secretariat, Nirupam Sen alias Khokan Sen alleged to be the master mind behind the ghastly murder of members of Sainbari in the late sixties in Barddhaman district and former Industry Minister of the state is passing his days in agony as anything can happen on any day, Kanti Ganguly, another former minister of the state and alleged to be the mastermind behind the murder of Ananda Margis in the open daylight on the streets of Kolkata, Bangsa Gopal Chowdhury, former MP and minister of the state had minted money from the colliery areas of the state is passing sleepless nights etc. There are many such names and at the top of all such names the name of the former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is there. Naming all those is unnecessary. But the fact remains that first people of West Bengal had rejected them in the last Assembly elections and now the party members are deserting them in thousands and lakhs.
Hence the party has become extremely shaky to face any election—small or big. Rezzak Mollah one of the former ministers of the Left Front government has openly charged his party CPI(M) for being ‘autocratic’ and ‘high handedness in dealing with issues of public interest. But the party is afraid of taking any action against him because he is still in high estimation of party cadres, although it is a fact that he has been dropped from the state committee of the party.
Over and above, these days Left front partners have come out with open voice of rebellion. These days they are just questioning the logic of every decision that has been taken. In a recent meeting of the Left Front Kshiti Goswami of RSP and Manjukumar of CPI had criticised the front secretary Biman Bose like anything which was not even dreamt in their hay days. The “Big Brother” attitude of CPI(M) is being challenged on every step which was unimaginable even few days ago.
Under these circumstances when Mamata Banerjee had thrown the idea of early Lok Sabha election, CPI (M) thought that this is a good tactics of Mamata Banerjee to pressurise the Central government for getting their economic demands materialised. But soon after, when they looked after their own party position they became apprehensive. They simply could not solicit any faith in the maximum number of cadres of their party. So being afraid of election has a logical end to it.
On the other hand, if Lok Sabha poll is advanced by two years, what would be their performance? If not nil, there would be great decline of their number of members. In the present Lok Sabha Communists have 24 members in total among whom Bengal Left Front account for 15 members and among them also 5 members belong to different left front partners. CPI(M) has got only 10 members in Lok Sabha from Bengal. In contrast to this TMC (Trinamool Congress) has got 27 Members in Lok Sabha and 7 in Rajya Sabha. In the event of immediate Lok Sabha election, CPI(M) would at best get 2 or 3 seats. This is their moderate estimate.
Even at this stage when Mamata has developed a very strange relationship with Congress, the political Pundits are of the opinion that ultimately in the event of election of President and in other elections TMC and Congress will fight jointly. TMC do not want to take any risk. At the same time they will pursue with their ‘blow hot and blow cold’ policy. Although the perception of the state Congress leadership is that the TMC will gobble them up. But at the same time there are certain compulsions with the Congress at the national level politics. They just cannot do away with it. They are simply engulfed with ‘catch 22 situation’.
In this context two interesting developments had taken place. Honourable Justice Katju, Chairman of Press Council visited Kolkata last week and said that the media in Bengal is unnecessarily bothering the Chief Minister of the state. His opinion about Mamata is, ‘she is doing well’. Another interesting comment about the Mamata-government came from the BJP-national leader Rajnath Singh. He said that their party is ready to extend support to Mamata Banerjee at the central level for getting financial demands of West Bengal. This is in contrast with the belligerent attitude of the state BJP and its leadership. Nevertheless Rajnath Singh’s statement was well taken in the political circle of West Bengal.