Mamata Banerjee opens up to Left against BJP

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2014 17:49 IST

Mamata Banerjee is credited with decimating her arch rival, the Left, in West Bengal. Therefore when she advised the same party to strengthen its ranks to check BJP's rise, she conceded the real threat to Trinamool Congress' supremacy was the saffron surge.

"BJP workers are grabbing your party offices and raising their flags there," Banerjee told a 12-member Left team that met her at her office in Nabanna.

"Many of your party are leaving to join BJP. Manage your own flock…you know my stand on communalism. You must be having a stand, too," Banerjee told the team.

In a rare display of warmth toward her rivals, Banerjee went out of her way to show courtesy to the Left leaders. She was waiting outside the lift on the 14th floor to greet them.

She offered them tea and snacks and enquired about the health of Biman Bose and Kshiti Goswami. When the Left raised the issue of atrocities allegedly by Trinamool-backed goons, she immediately asked senior bureaucrats to look into the matter.

The chief minister's statements Left political pundits wondering whether she is trying to deliver the message to the Left - so far reckoned as the principal opposition to Trinamool - that BJP is the new opposition in the state.

"If the chief minister has indicated something to the Left, she has done it out of fear. I think BJP will soon become the major political force in Bengal and also the main opposition force. The chief minister has tried to strike common cause with the Left by identifying BJP as the common adversary," said Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, former principal of Presidency College and a prominent political observer.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, BJP's vote share jumped to 17% from the 6% in 2009. The gain is significant considering its vote share in 2011 assembly polls was only 4%.

In a moment of candour, the chief minister also remarked that like many other parties, some rank opportunists had made their way into her party, and that she has to remain alert about them.

Banerjee also told the Left leaders that their supporters were instrumental in ensuring state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury's win by the biggest margin of 3.56 lakh votes in Bengal.


The Left members included Biman Bose, Rabin Deb (CPI-M), Kshiti Goswami (RSP), Mihir Byne (RCPI), Kuheli Chatterjee (Marxist Forward Bloc), Jayanta Ray (FB), Ratan Majumdar (Democratic Socialist Party), Manju Kumar Majumdar (CPI), Umesh Chowdhury (Biplabi Bangla Congress), Saibal Chatterjee (Workers' Party) and Prabir Ghosh (Bolshevik Party).

The team informed her about the violence unleashed by the Trinamool Congress supporters. They handed over a list of 157 Left supporters allegedly killed by TMC- -backed goons in the state between May 13, 2011 and June 8, 2014.

In the meeting, the CM proposed that the Left parties nominate a coordinator who would liaise with Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee if reports of any such atrocity surfaces.

"The chief minister heard us out patiently. We hope she would take steps. About 45,000 men are unable to stay in their homes in the state now," said Biman Bose, the leader of the team.

However, Bose pointed out they would watch for a few days and if nothing substantial happens, they would take to streets.

Read: BJP set to replace Left as main opposition in Bengal

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

‘Dream, dream, dream!’: 10 memorable quotes by People’s President APJ Abdul Kal...
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome