Left parties on Saturday rejected West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s overtures to the CPI(M) to form a grand anti-BJP alliance, saying it is a gimmick and not to be taken seriously.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader had on Friday hinted that she was open to allying with the CPI(M) — the party she had overthrown to form a government in West Bengal — to stem a BJP surge in the state. With assembly elections slated for 2016, the BJP’s rise has been a cause of concern for other parties, particularly after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls where it saw a big rise in its vote share in the state.
Leader of opposition in the West Bengal assembly and CPI(M) politburo member Suryakanta Mishra said the chief minister should explain why she tied up with the BJP earlier before talking of an alliance.
“If she is serious about a secular alliance then she has to explain why she entered into an alliance with the BJP during the earlier regime,” he said.
CPI leader and former MP Gurudas Dasgupta said there was no chance of accepting Banerjee’s call in light of the current situation in Bengal.
“Our supporters are attacked and the democratic rights of trade unions are being demolished everyday,” said Dasgupta. “Common people have become miserable in West Bengal. So how can we accept her alliance call in such a situation?”
Revolutionary Socialist Party leader and former West Bengal minister Kshiti Goswami echoed Dasgupta. “It seems that it is her new gimmick,” he said. “I do not think that there is any need to give any importance to what she said.”
All India Forward Bloc MLA Udayan Guha ridiculed Banerjee, calling her delusional, as he referred to a meeting where Left Front leaders had met her, requesting her to stop TMC activists from attacking opposition members. “The Left leaders were treated with fish fry, but surprisingly, it was the chief minister who suffered from indigestion,” he said. “A victim of indigestion often suffers from delusion, which is exactly the case with her now.”
BJP state president Rahul Sinha said “Trinamool leaders are afraid of the saffron surge in the state” and the chief minister was, therefore, making “desperate” overtures to the Left.