Forward Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh, 87, is now the eldest Left Front leader in Bengal. He became a bitter critic of the government during the Singur and Nandigram incidents and when five Bloc supporters fell to police bullets in Cooch Behar four years ago. Snigdhendu Bhattacharya speaks to the man who remains a driving spirit behind the Front’s struggle against the Opposition.
This Assembly election is being seen as the toughest the Left Front ever faced. Do you agree?
There is no doubt that this is a tough election. And we are facing a no-holds-barred conspiracy against the Left Front. All anti-people forces, reactionaries and imperialists have joined hands to remove us from power. We have to fight several enemies. But we are used to facing tough situations. The polls in ’69, ’71, ’72 and ’77 were not easy battles. But we fought them and won in 1977.
In ’77 you had public sentiment in your favour. Now the situation seems to have reversed.
There were times when people misunderstood us. But our cadres are reaching out to the masses and explaining the situation to them. We are sure we will be able to clear all misunderstandings.
Cracks were found in the so-called strong unity among Front allies in the 2006 assembly polls and even after that. Where stands the unity now?
We are more united than ever. We are facing multiple enemies at one time. The experience of ’77 has shown us that unity is the key to survival. So we have sorted out all differences. It is time to put up a united fight against the fascist opposition and the Left Front is ready for that.
Do you see any possibility of winning this poll?
I’m 100% confident that we will form the eighth Left Front government. People are changing their mind again and they will cast their votes in our favour.