A day after the Lalgarh massacre, three major parties in the Left Front decided to stay firmly beside the CPI(M), a stance unlike the one in 2007 when most constituents in the coalition had targeted the ‘Big Brother’ after 14 villagers died in supposed police firing at Nandigram.
Only the Forward Bloc, arguably the most vocal among the partners, demanded a probe into Friday’s killings. Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh told HT on Saturday: “I’ve spoken to Front chairman Biman Bose and requested him to initiate the formation of probe panel.”
Revolutionary Socialist Party leader and state PWD minister Kshiti Goswami and CPI state secretary MK Majumdar said they would raise the issue at the Front meeting on January 12.
However, the statements were guarded. It was apparent that with elections slated this year, the allies were not keen on annoying the CPI(M) and putting the Front in a spot.
“The real culprits have to be exposed. We have reports that the intimidation came from Trinamool Congress and Maoists,” said Majumdar.
In 2007, Goswami had stepped down from the cabinet in protest against the Nandigram killings and the allies had jointly issued a statement blaming the CPI(M) and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Ghosh said, “The Nandigram situation was different. Innocent villagers died in police firing... But the Lalgarh incident is the outcome of a political fight to capture lost ground.”