Faced with the toughest electoral slugfest in decades at a time the state is the grip of the winds of change, CPI(M) and ally Forward Bloc are keen to set their internal bickering at rest and put up a united front against principal state opposition Trinamool Congress in the ongoing assembly polls.
"We are keen to forego our past differences and put up a unified challenge to the opposition," said Matiar Rahman, Howrah district Bloc leader.
Biplab Mazumder, the district CPI(M) secretary, further conceded that the ties between the Front allies in Uluberia of late have been frayed. "I admit we had some problems earlier, but at present we are keen to set aside all our differences and defeat the opposition forces," said Mazumder.
Uluberia has seen a series of tussles between the coalition partners, with both trading charges at each other. Even the district committee leaders tried to broker a truce between the feuding allies over time, but failed.
Between the 2006 assembly polls and the 2009 general elections, the rift between Front allies in Uluberia over a slew of charges and counter charges came out in the open, thereby jeopardising the Left unity in the state.
During the panchayat elections in 2008, Bloc leaders charged CPI(M) cadres with wreaking damage to the houses of their party activists. Local CPI(M) leaders were quick to trash the claims of their ally and level counter charges instead. Matters escalated to a point, where local CPI(M) cadres had to set up temporary camps for their homeless supporters across several pockets of the Uluberia sub-division.
In the 2009 parliamentary elections, Trinamool nominee Sultan Ahmed clearly profited from the continued bickering between the key Left allies, and defeated Hannan Mollah of the CPI(M). One of many reasons attributed to CPI(M)'s defeat was that the local Bloc leaders and supporters had not pulled their weight behind the CPI(M) nominee and did not campaign for him extensively.
Now, with the ruling Left Front facing a strong anti-incumbency wave across the state, the once feuding allies are sharing the stage.