A day after former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that the CPI(M) needed to bring change in its leadership to come out of defeat mode, the Trinamool Congress claimed no change of guard could alter the fortunes of the Marxists.
In fact, by the 2016 Assembly elections, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her brigade want to decimate the communist organisation from Bengal.
Following a series of defeats - in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, 2011 Assembly and 2013 panchayat and municipality polls - the CPI(M) apparatchiks like Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Gautam Deb and Shyamal Chakrabarty have told the party that infusion of fresh blood or new faces would rejuvenate the CPI(M).
But the CPI(M) mandarins at the top, including general secretary Prakash Karat, politburo members Sitaram Yechury, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Biman Bose, Nirupam Sen and Suryakanta Mishra believe the real reason for the Marxist slide is because the people have voted for a change after three decades and they are not willing to judge the incumbent right now.
“There is no doubt that CPI(M) is not as strong as it used to be. We have to take corrective measures, remove inactive cadres, reach out to the people and go for mass movements. But we must give people time to realise the wrongs of the Trinamool government,” said CPI(M) central committee member Chakrabarty.
He agreed that the municipality poll performance and defeat in Red bastion Burdwan is unbelievable but it is largely because of the terror unleashed by the Trinamool activists and violation of the Election Commission norms.
“People are too scared to challenge the miscreants,” he added. “Terror and violence is wreaking havoc on the elections,” said Mishra.
But the Trinamool countered by saying three decades of extortion and social ostracism in villages and exploitation of the working class have done the Marxists in.
“They enjoyed unstinted support of the peasants, working class, government employees, youth and students. They had an all pervasive control but the erosion began because they hurt their vote bank,” said Trinamool deputy leader of the Rajya Sabha Sukhendu Shekhar Roy.
Marxists, over the years, got alienated from the peasants.
The grievances of the farmers grew and forcible acquisition of land in 2006 in Singur and an attempt in 2007 in Nandigram for industries by the very communists who gave lands to the farmers snapped the umbilical chord.
“Fear had become the key. Terror was the byword. Political violence in rural areas reached its peak. And villagers realised that Marxists would soon render them farmless and homeless. It for peace and livelihood, they voted for Mamata,” said Trinamool MP Suvendu Adhikari.
The urban working class was also in a volatile situation. More than 63,000 factories shut down in three decades of the Left rule and this left millions jobless.
“Along the Hooghly banks, from Naihati to Budge Budge, hundreds of foundries, hosieries, jute and manufacturing units closed down. The working class felt cheated,” said Roy.