Read the party's lips: No more tirades against Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee as a section of Alimuddin Street apparatchiks have at last realised that abusing the railway minister like what Benoy Konar did on Tuesday is backing on the already beleaguered party.
Konar had achieved notoriety during Banerjee's Singur and Nandigram movement, when he attacked the Trinamool leader pouring vitriol though her popularity graph kept rising fast.
On Tuesday, the CPI(M) central committee member, known for untimely and rustic jibes, did exactly what the majority of his party leaders do not approve of. At a campaign meeting at Falta in South 24-Parganas, Konar described Banerjee as a "theatric". The central committee member said, "Banerjee's brothers have crores of rupees in their kitty. They own at least 20 cars. Yet Mamata does not buy a handkerchief and wipes of her sweat with the pallu of her sari. All this is drama, which she loves."
A section of the party feels personal slander is doing more harm for the party, especially when the Left Front is fighting the toughest polls since 1977. The worst part is that often the candidate concerned, in whose campaign programmes senior leaders resort Banerjee baiting, gets embarrassed.
Although considering the seniority of leader concerned, CPI(M) candidates remain silent, but at close quarters they express dissatisfaction over personal slander.
A senior leader of the party said that although the numbers of such leaders who are resorting to this slander are limited, but their over-enthusiasm is doing more harm than good. "We often criticise our opposition. Before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when the Trinamool MP from Serampore resorting to personal slander against chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on a private television channel, we only vehemently criticised it but also complained to the Election Commission. Now if some our leaders do the same thing, it only adds to our embarrassment," he said.
According to him, it would be correct if CPI(M) attacks the ideology and policy propagated by Banerjee, without indulging in personal abuse. "Personal slander has no limits," he said.
In fact much before the campaign fever was on, housing minister, Gautam Deb cautioned against slandering or passing remarks against Banerjee, at the inaugural function of Hidco's new office at Rajarhat. "As a cabinet minister, her relationship with us would be that of mutual cooperation. We should not pass personal remarks against her," Deb had said then.
Even chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said CPI(M)'s aim was not to embarrass Banerjee. He was speaking after a section of the CPI(M) leadership in North 24-Parganas appealed to the Election Commission to order Banerjee's arrest over a old non-bailable arrest warrant against her.