Allies debate next step
A day after putting the CPM in the dock for letting loose its armed cadres to recapture Nandigram, the Left Front partners were in a dilemma on whether to move one step further, reports Tanmay Chatterjee.
A day after putting the CPM in the dock for letting loose its armed cadres to recapture Nandigram, the Left Front partners were in a dilemma on whether to move one step further.
While the CPM defended its own version of “restoration of peace” on Monday, its allies — the RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI — put on their thinking caps.
It was apparent that political compulsions — fear of isolation — held them back from getting any bolder although senior leaders like RSP’s Abani Roy and CPI minister Nanda Gopal Bhattacharya questioned the justification of having the Front where one partner could violate “all norms of democracy”.
So far RSP has been the most bitter critic of the government. Its leader Kshiti Goswami has threatened to step down from the Cabinet, while Manoj Bhattacharya was the first to share the dais with Medha Patkar at Esplanade.
The RSP state secretariat and state committee will meet over the next two days to analyse the situation the party has got into.
“It is difficult for the Bengal unit of the party to take any decision on leaving the government because that would have direct impact on the party in Kerala and Tripura. There is one RSP minister in each state,” said a senior party member.
For the Forward Bloc the dilemma has different dimensions. The party has played a leading role in the formative years of the Left movement and later the Front. Ashok Ghosh, the party’s state secretary for over two decades, has been one of the key players who helped maintain unity in the Front whenever it has faced any crisis.
“For the Bloc it is not easy to take any drastic step because it will be held responsible for destroying the Front it helped grow over the years. Moreover, as the most senior leader after Jyoti Basu, Ghosh is often projected by the CPM as a pillar of the alliance although that may be entirely for strategic reasons,” said a leader.
The CPI, interestingly, has never criticized the CPM like the other partners. This time its state leaders were persuaded by RSP and Bloc to take a strong stand on Sunday and sign the resolution that held the CPM solely responsible for the killings.
“But it is the relationship shared by the parties at the national level, between A.B. Bardhan and Prakash Karat to be precise, that controls the state unit. The two parties are playing the lead role in keeping the UPA under pressure on issues ranging from the CMP to nuclear deal,” said one leader.