The much-hyped all-party peace meeting to restore peace in Nandigram could lose its lustre as there are doubts whether CPI(M) State secretary Biman Bose and Krishi Jamin Bachao Committee leader Mamata Banerjee would at all participate in the talks.
CPI(M) State secretary has never attended an all-party meeting in the 30-year history of the Left Front government in Bengal. And the present CPI(M) State secretary Biman Bose will not deviate from this precedence set by his predecessors in this post.
No wonder, despite the party's politburo meeting on May 26 – the date initially fixed for the all-party meet – the CPI(M) top brass has told Forward Bloc State secretary Ashok Ghosh to go ahead with it and that they would send their representatives for the peace talks.
On Friday afternoon, Ashok Ghosh spoke to Mamata over telephone and said that he wanted to come to her residence. But Mamata refused and said that she would go over to the Forward Bloc office on Saturday to discus the modalities of the peace talks. "He is a senior leader, so I have decided to call on him on Saturday," Mamata said.
Though Mamata is interested to meet the CPI(M) top brass to discuss Nandigram, Alimuddin Street is not willing to comply.
Therefore, no matter the sincere efforts of Ashok Ghosh to get the CPI(M) top brass and Mamata Banerjee face to face, the reality is Biman Bose's presence in the all-party peace talks over Nandigram can be virtually ruled out.
What's more, Ashok Ghosh is also unable to get CPI(M) politburo member and former CM Jyoti Basu for the peace meeting. One, the CPI(M) has protested against Basu's presence in this kind of meeting because they feel that given his stature, Basu is too big to be involved in an all-party state peace meeting.
It is also learnt that Jyoti Basu citing his frail health has told Ashok Ghosh that he cannot attend the all-party meeting with the leaders of the Krishi Jamin Bachao Committee leaders.
Also out of the CPI(M) list of representatives for the peace talks is the name of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. CPI(M) sources said that Buddha has not been invited by Ashok Ghosh. And secondly, since the CM is heading the state government it would not be possible for him to attend the all-party peace talks.
Then who is going to represent the CPI(M) in the all-party peace meeting? The CPI(M) mandarins point out that during the tenure of former CPI(M) State secretary and politburo member Anil Biswas, State secretariat member Madan Ghosh and State Committee member Robin Deb attended the all-party meets.
After Biman Bose took over, State Committee members Robin Deb and Sukhendu Panigrahi attended the all-party meetings of the Chief Election Commissioner. This time too, the party is going to nominate senior State secretariat or State committee members to attend the peace talks.
But if this is the CPI(M) line-up for the peace talks, it is unlikely that Mamata Banerjee – who like the CPI(M) is game to the idea of peace meeting being held on May 26 – would attend the all-party meeting to restore peace in Nandigram.
Krishi Jamin Bachao Committee leaders have already decided that if the CPI(M) top brass stays away from the peace meeting then they would not allow their president Mamata to attend it.
In that case, the Krishi Jamin Bachao Committee delegation is likely to comprise Samir Putatunda, Trinamool Congress MLAs Partha Chatterjee and Saugata Roy or Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy.
Former PCC chief Somen Mitra said: "My hunch is that none of the decision-makers of the CPI(M) will attend the peace-talks. Therefore, the whole purpose of holding the all-party peace meeting would be doomed. It is a farcical exercise that would never bring peace back in Nandigram."