In his first interview ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, CPM politburo member and former West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, tells Tanmay Chatterjee the Congress has failed to deliver. And there lies the danger of emergence of the Narendra Modi-led BJP.
Do you see Narendra Modi as a man who can deliver?
The Congress has undoubtedly failed to deliver. And there lies the danger of emergence of the Narendra Modi led BJP. They follow the same economic policies. At best Modi can rigorously follow it. He has a communal agenda as well. If you talk of delivering, his concept of development caters only to corporate houses.
With AIADMK and TDP keeping the options open for post-poll alliance with BJP, will CPM be able to keep the third front alive?
Yes there are problems. Various parties are switching sides. We will try till the end and mobilise all anti-Congress and anti-BJP parties. But ultimately, the numbers will decide.
If the Congress manages to work out the numbers with help from the TMC but still needs support from the Leftto form a government what will your party do?
There are too many ifs and buts. All I can say is that the circumstances under which we supported the first UPA government were completely different from what we have now.
As former chief minister how do you assess Mamata Banerjee as an administrator?
In two words — transcendent failure. As administrator she cares little for rule of law and constitutional obligations. She has direct links with the underworld. She says she has completed 90 per cent of her job. That is absurd.What is your take on the Sharadha scam?I am sure you have heard Pete Seeger’s famous song “Where have all those flowers gone.” I keep asking “Where has all the money gone?”
Till recently the Trinamool was projecting Mamata Banerjee as the future prime minister. How would you react if you saw that happening?
Had I believed in God I would have prayed and asked him to protect us and save the country from her. I can’t even imagine such a catastrophe.