A political storm is brewing in West Bengal with forecasts predicting the onset of a massive ‘direct confrontation’ programme by the CPI(M) with the current state government right after Durga Puja. Party sources said that the programme would not be restricted to big gatherings and mega rallies, but would take place even at the micro-level, at localities, lanes and by-lanes throughout the state.
The stage appears set for a direct fight between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress government.
In fact, the party is wielding a double-edged sword, against the Congress at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and against the Trinamool in Rani Rashmoni in Kolkata.
A senior state committee member of the CPI(M) said that while the party’s central leadership in Delhi would deal with issues of national importance, like FDI in retail and disinvestments in PSUs, in Bengal state level leaders would spearhead movements on issues like farmer suicide, law and order, and highlight the alleged false claims of the state government.
In short, the CPI(M), taking a leaf out of Mamata’s own book, is gearing up to put on a repeat of the show that the current chief minister staged during the final days of the seventh Left Front government; not missing a single opportunity to take a dig at the government at both the micro and macro levels.
“Be it the highhandedness of Trinamool activists in a particular locality or the inaction of the police on a local-level issue or farmer suicide, our comrades at different level, like local, branch and zonal committees have been instructed to act accordingly,” said the central committee member.
The call for direct confrontation was made by CPI(M) central committee member Gautam Deb at a mega rally organised by the party’s north 24 Parganas district committee on October 1.
Sources said that there were two reasons for starting this programme immediately after the Pujas; the first is to lift the morale of the party workers before the forthcoming panchayat elections and the second is to send a signal to the masses that despite Mamata’s massive support base, the CPI(M) still has the strength and ability to play the role of a strong and formidable opposition.
“For some time, we have refrained from direct confrontation since the public might not have taken it in the right spirit. But now, when rumblings of discontent about the functioning of the state government, and against the actions of the ruling force, has started bubbling at various corners of the state, it is time for us to hit the streets,” said a senior state committee leader of the CPI(M).
The Left Front senses an oppurtunity to regain lost political ground in the ensuing panchayat elections.