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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Civil society fast emerging as Mamata's prime opposition

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 13, 2012
First Published: 13:26 IST(13/4/2012) | Last Updated: 13:27 IST(13/4/2012)

With CPI(M) far from gaining grounds and Congress having a feeble presence at the urban areas, the civil rights movement led by human rights groups such as Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), Bandi Mukti Committee and other such smaller left-wing factions as CPI(ML) Liberation and Majdoor Kranti Parishad have emerged as chief minister Mamata Banerjee's only "Opposition" in the city.

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Thursday bore yet another testimony to the fact that a section of the city intelligentsia, which had arguably brought the whole of Bengal's populace on the streets against the "misrule of CPI(M)-LED Left Front" and acted as a major force in toppling world's longest-running elected communist government, is poised to take the place of the "prime opposition" to the Mamata Banerjee government.

Educationist Sunanda Sanyal, who had been one of the prominent pro-mamata faces during the Left Front regime, said that the time is ripe for the "real civil society movement".

"Strongly condemning" the Bhadra said when quizzed about Thursday's attack on APDR'S rally at Hazra crossing.

"The government is going against its pre-poll promises. It promised not only to protect democratic rights, but also to take it further. But the deeds are quite the contrary, as the government forces are to trying to silence the slightest of protest by brute force," Bhadra said.

Upset with the fact that the Mamata Banerjee government is "not learning from history", Bhadra wanted to remind the government that even Indira Gandhi, barely three years after her disastrous performance in the '77 polls, which was largely attributed to people's anguish over the Emergency, managed to make a comeback.

"The Janata Party government came to power with an overwhelming mandate. But then, they, too, ordered police firing at Bailadila and Kanpur. Despite the backlash over Emergency, the people brought back Indira Gandhi with a resounding mandate. There is no reason for the government to think that people of West Bengal could be forced into a state of mind, wherein they would not even think of bringing back the CPI(M)," Bhadra said.


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