Left Front allies insist that the former CM and CPI(M) politburo member Jyoti Basu should be present in the crucial Left Front meeting on April 7. Because the CPI, the RSP and the Forward Bloc bank more on Jyoti Basu than his prodify Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to bring the government out of the Nandigram crisis.
Of late, Basu not keeping well had been skipping some Left Front meetings. But in the present volatile situation when Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has rocked the Left Front boat on the land issue, the CPI(M) allies – the CPI, the Forward Bloc and the RSP – want the CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu to be present in the meeting to save any situation going out of control.
"Jyoti Basu still remains the principal crisis manager of the Left Front. And the Left Front allies are banking on Basu again to prove his mettle and bring the Left Front ship out of the Singur and Nandigram storms. We believe Basu can restore the tarnished image of the Left Front,” said RSP State secretariat and central committee member Manoj Bhattacharya.
While Buddha has repeatedly lost cool and walked out of the Left Front meetings when grilled by the leaders of the Left allies on the land issue and industrial drive that has snowballed into a major controversy in the State and country, it is Basu who has always mediated to establish peace and bring the warring leaders in the meetings on a discussion mode.
“Basu insists on Left Front unity. He has told Buddha not to keep the Left front partners in dark over the crucial developments in Nandigram And Singur. To clear the differences Basu has emphasised on more Front meetings,” said Forward Bloc State secretary Ashok Ghosh.
In fact, describing the role of Basu as crisis manager, front leaders said that Basu has said that the core committee of the government should meet frequently to discuss important government decisions. Basu has emphasised on transparent decisions and that all government decisions should be routed through the Left Front meetings.
And all this has won over the front leaders who believe that without Basu the front will not be able to come out of the trouble it has landed in. As CPI State secretary Manju Majumdar pointed out that even today the front leaders have immense faith on Basu, who has led the Left Front government for 23 years as chief minister.
“It would be unwise to compare Basu with his prodigy Buddha. No one can say “no” to Basu on his face. That is because over the years he has won the admirations of the front leaders. So it is not surprising that the front leaders and even Buddha and Left Front chairman Biman Bose bank on him in the hours of crisis,” said Ashok Ghosh.
It is learnt that in the last front meting on March 17 – after the Nandigram shootout on March 14 – the CPI minister Nandagopal Bhattacharya and RSP minister Kshiti Goswami had complained to Basu that Buddha had hid the Nandigram plan in the first core committee meeting on March 13 and he also kept his ministers in dark during the Cabinet meeting on March 14 morning at Writers’ Buildings – the day massacre in Nandigram took place.
“What is the harm in talking? Take everyone into confidence. If the front breaks then all of us are doomed. Always remember the Left Front is less of a front and more of a party. Front is not just CPI(M) but all of us together…” a perturbed Basu told Buddha in the Left Front meeting on March 17.
In fact, Basu has also supported the leaders of the forward Bloc, the CPI and the RSP in their criticism of CPI(M) central committee member Benoy Konar for making provocative statements on Nandigram and passing derogatory remarks on the allies.
“So in April 7 Left Front meeting where we will take a stock of whether the March 17 decisions were being implemented in Nandigram and Singur, Basu’s presence will be very significant. We agree with Basu that we should move wisely and pragmatically and win the confidence of the people to bring about industrialisation in Bengal,” said Manoj Bhattacharya.