In an attempt to make a dent in Mamata Banerjee’s intellectual brigade, the CPI(M) has decided to make all-out attempts to re-establish links with those intellectuals who despite backing Trinamool Congress before 2011 state assembly elections have slowly distanced themselves from the ruling force.
The party would specially target those who later developed bad blood with Trinamool Congress and the chief minister over a number of political and administrative issues.
In this attempt, those select intellectuals who continued their allegiance with Left Front even after its humiliating defeat in 2011 elections might act the catalyst or the medium in this re-bridging exercise. Some eminent sports personalities whose emotional support still lies with the Left Front or CPI(M) might also be requested to play a role in this re-bridging process.
Party sources said this exercise of re-establishing links with intellectuals is a part of the bigger exercise to win back the confidence of the Left Front’s erstwhile supporters and party sympathisers.
“Our leadership is constantly asking our members to go back to the people politely and try to win back their confidence. The intellectuals too are part of the bigger society. So we go to them and try to learn from them what went wrong on our part which prompted them to turn their faces away from us,” a CPI(M) central committee member said. It is learnt that once the link is established with some of these intellectuals, the CPI(M) leadership would interact with them more as “listeners” than as “speakers.”
The party leadership, according to sources, would try to learnt from them about the lapses on part of ruling Left Front that shied people including the intellectuals away from them.
“We would also seek and if necessary accept their suggestions on the corrective measures that the party and the Left Front should adopt so that ideological or political lapses do not recur,” the central committee member said.
With regard to likelihood of taking help of their confidant intellectuals in this re-bridging exercise, he said, even after the electoral defeat there are many intellectuals who share ideological alliance with leftist philosophy.
“They are highly respected irrespective of their political ideology and hence they would be the best medium to re-establish links with those respected intellectuals, who shied away from us because of some ideological and political lapses on our part,” said a state committee member of CPI(M) in West Bengal.
Sources said that on many issues like imprisonment of Jadavpur University professor in cartoon controversy or the chief minister’s labelling of university students as Maoists or CPI(M) cadres or the harassment of theatre personality by Trinamool activists have really not gone down well with many of her erstwhile confidant intellectuals. Many of them have also started public criticism against such developments and hence the state CPI(M) leadership feels that this is the right time to re-establish links with the disaffected intellectuals.