The General Election for the 15th Indian Parliament is over about a month ago. The first session of the parliament has started with the formalities of oath taking by all the new members. The new cabinet has started functioning with full pace. There are seven central ministers from the state of WB; first time in the history of independent India. The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) Lead coalition in the state had a brilliant performance in the election. The total tally in favor of the alliance is 26 out of 42 seats. The performance of AITC is amazingly superb; from a single seat of the last parliament it could manage to hold 19 seats. It’s undoubtedly the sole effort of the party chief for last two and half years; hat’s off to you Ms. Banerjee. Her appearance in this election seems to be somewhat matured compared to previous polls and portrayed a different image of the opposition leader compared to her prior angry, immature attitude. Presumably, people had a chance to see the evolvement of the next chief ministerial candidate from a sensible opposition leader who holds the central Railway Ministry.
One of the greatest surprises of the post poll events was the demand for dismissal of the democratically elected state government prior to constitutionally sanctioned time of five years. The proposal was placed before the central cabinet and at least for time being it’s rejected. There is no doubt that AITC has performed quite well in the present elections and they have a moderate lead in about 190 assembly segments out of total 294 in the state. The AITC leadership, including the opposition leader of the assembly is continuously screaming to dismiss the elected Governmetn in the state based on their performance in parliamentary election. There is a clear verdict of the Supreme Court in this particular issue and need not to be discussed here. Such an illegal claim from our beloved central ministers is not unexpected but certainly another attempt to murder the
An unprecedented attack on the LF members/supporters/followers in the rural Bengal has been started just after declaration of election result on 16th May. On the very evening of the poll result a whole village was turned into flame in Howrah district because most of the dwellers of the village were LF supporter. There are many such incidences of hooliganism of AITC supporters in rural Bengal which are well known through the media reporting. Most of media tried to table it in a different way; showed all this incidences as spontaneous outburst of depressed people in the state for last 32 years under left ruling. It needs a special attention and would be discussed later. There are reports coming from different areas of south Bengal about the killing of LF supporters/members. The AITC supported hooligans forced CPIM cadres and local leaders to quite the party membership or any link with the party at gunpoint. They charged fine to the supporters of LF for their active role during election campaign. Most of this news was coming from the Midnapur, 24-Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly. Along with the AITC sponsored torture there are also increasing number of activities from ultra left maoist groups. Recently, in Salboni area of West Midnapur the local CPIM leaders along with many supporters were garlanded with shoes and marched through villages. All of them were then forced to quite CPIM. The selective killing of CPIM activists in the Lalgarh area is also a concern at present. There were no instances from the AITC leadership to control their supporters to stop uncivilized activities or condemning Maoists groups for butcher killing of CPIM members. In addition, some of the leaders including the central ministers were giving provocative speeches in their celebration rallies.
Recently, the state has gone through a major natural calamity. A devastating cyclone, namely, ‘Aila’ lashed in Calcutta, North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and East Midnapore. The state government responded very promptly. The state administration immediately contacts their central counterpart for all sorts of cooperation. The central government responded sensibly and deploys the army on state government’s request at the earliest for rescue operation. The role of some of the central ministers from the state for mobilizing the central aid to the state is quite positive to enhance the rescue operation. A couple of ministers were deployed in the southern coastal part for the rescue relief and rehabilitation operations. Everything was running fine except the foul efforts of AITC to fish out their organizational gain out of ‘cyclone politics’. It’s started with the blunt arguments of Ms. Banerjee regarding the deployment of army in the state and the rescue operations by BSF. Its continued with her demanded to transfer of central relief fund directly to districts magistrates’ office by passing the state government. In this row, she even claimed that the state Government’s figure on the loss of property is over estimated for some mean reasons. Not the end, 81 year old CPIM MLA and former school teacher Gopal Gayen was heckled and smeared with mud in of the relief camps in Hindalganj area. It’s quite expected that the people staying in a relief camp with so much hardships would certainly have some agony. There is nothing to say if the incidence would have happened spontaneously. There are report and speculations that some local leaders of AITC organized all these. In brief, AITC under the leadership of central railway minister is playing a nasty role in these days for ‘cyclone politics’. It is more evident from their refusal to join the all party meeting organized by the state government.
The state ministers are working day in and out for the quick and smooth relief operations for the victims to resume their normal life. The LF leaders and workers are busy with the administration for relief work and also to raise relief fund across the whole state. From beginning of June, AITC hooligans choose the correct action time to capture the different hamlets of strong hold for left parties. They are threatening the supporters, members, local leaders of left parties with all possible consequences. There are people who have showed enough courage to keep the red flag uphold in those areas. Some of them were even lost their life in this battle. One of them is the Panshkura school teacher Shri Govinda Samanta. He decided to be loyal to the left ideology under any consequences and he did so till his last breath. There are plenty of such examples of killing - not only in the south Bengal even in the north. The brutal killing of a student and SFI activists, Mr. Vivek Barman, in Mathabhanga is one of such examples. There are similar reports in the news papers everyday. In last few weeks the situation is really worrisome. Places in Khanakul, Khejuri, Bhangar, Kawkdip and many others are literally under the control of AITC ruffians. In some places state police is not even in condition to mobilize the additional forces. The local police stations are blocked by the AITC supporters to finish their operation in the way of making those areas as lawless, free zone for the invaders and to carry on primitive uncivilized activities. So, the situation of the grass root level workers and leaders of the left movement in those areas could be imagined. More than a dozens of CPIM party offices, including, zonal office were set ablaze. Leaders who manage escape got shelter in police stations. Many families are in relief camps, people with any solidarity for left parties are either forced to change their political inclination in different uncivilized ways or had to pay huge cash to survive in the area. So, the obvious question comes in the mind of average people is probably: ‘WHY’ all these going on.
There is a cheap theory put forward by the popular media houses to explain AITC sponsored brutal activities. First, try to understand the proposition of the popular Medias in Bengal. The people have voted for a political change in the state. It’s comparable to a revolution through ballot. They are trying to sell the concept of spontaneous mass revolution across the society to protest the 32 years of misrule in the state by LF Government as an obvious after effect of the election results. Accordingly, all these barbaric and uncivilized events are quite normal, expected, and should be justified by the ethical/moral understating of the common people under the above proposition. There are people who strongly ruled out such a theory. First, try to recapitulate the election results in brief. Undoubtedly, AITC has emerged as an alternative political strength in the state due to their pre-poll coalition with congress. Apart from the number of seats, one of the important parameter to analyze the election results is the support base in terms of vote share. The numbers are clear to conclude that CPIM is the single largest party in the state in terms of mass support. Overall, AITC lead coalition bagged only about 2.5% more vote share than that of CPIM lead LF. In numbers, AITC is ahead of CPIM by about 10 lakhs vote; about 25,000 more voters in every constituency on average. The election was for the center and not for the state government. Hence, the proposition could be ruled out at the moment. The interest of the media houses for selling this hypothesis must have a deep root and beyond the scope of this article. Still, it is worthy to point out that the drama in the name of recovery of weapons from the house of CPIM members or local CPIM offices in different areas are surprisingly taking place in presence of some particular media channels or news papers.
Now, let us try to understand this issue in a different but most relevant perspective - politically. The LF is in power for last 32 years through democratic process under the strong vigil of central election commission. The people of Bengal have elected the front for seven consecutive terms to implement popular policies for the betterment of the common people. No doubt, 32 years is long time and sitting in the opposition is quite frustrating for the leaders of the opposition parties. Hence, there should be an all around effort to achieve the political power in the state. The strong hold of left movement in the state for such a long time is not also accepted by some other power centers (there is no scope of discussion for the same in the current article). Politically, there is an obvious ongoing effort to win and take hold of the power from the LF. It is a healthy practice in parliamentary form of democracy as long as the efforts are made in democratic way. The urge to be in power is evident from Ms. Banerjee’s movements in the past. She rang the last bell for Shri Jyoti Basu in mid 90s for several times without any success. Then, the biggest call was during 2001, ‘ever or never’. In 2006 there was an all out effort by the opposition parties (expected) and media or business houses to forcefully defeat the LF from the beginning of election announcement. As a result, the election was held under tight scrutiny of the election commission. Special election observers were recruited and
the election was held in five phases; first time in the state. The outcome of the election is known; left front was elected with absolute majority along with a vote share of slightly higher than 50%. After 2006 election there was a significant shift in political line of AITC to face the battle of 2011 assembly election. The episode in Nandigram, Singur and other parts of the state in the name of struggle for ‘mother-land-people’ is well known. In last two and half years AITC under the sole leadership of Ms. Banerjee performed well to gain some rural support in their favor. One of the major agenda for AITC in this election was for changing power in the state by defeating LF. The same demand was put forward in the newly formed cabinet as mentioned before and rejected. In this context, the election result and after effect in the state need to be discussed more analytically. There is a positive swing of vote share in favor of AITC at the cost of LF’s loss. Still, the swing is not sufficient enough to be confident about AITC’s win in the next assembly election.The voters mind set would hopefully be evolved in next two years. The coalition of AITC with congress is not based on any mutual ideology and may face some challenge to break apart. Moreover, the gain in vote share for AITC is not solely a support to their struggle but more pronouncedly a verdict for a skeptical sentiment of portion of left voters. In addition, there are speculations of some political and major organizational draw backs among left parties which would have worked cumulatively with the anti-incumbency factor for the current defeat. The anti-incumbency factor could not be washed away but certainly be suppressed by introducing more people friendly governance. The left parties are in serious introspection of the current result and a rectification drive is already in progress by collecting and sharing views from the ground level workers, supporters, and voters. On the other hand, the main political agenda of AITC, ‘mother-land-people’, is not based on any policy for basic need of common people. Rather it’s only an outcome of CPIM opposition. Hence, the longevity of the movement is in doubt. A major fraction of the leaders joined in the party for their own fame and vested interests. Hence, waiting for two more years to grab the power at the state through democratic practices is not a wise option for AITC. Since, in the mean time left parties would certainly point out the faults on their behalf and would rectify that as much as possible. In addition, the people would have some time to judge the functioning of AITC at the centre and also at the three stage panchayet. Considering all these facts, the first target is to go for an early assembly election in the state and to grab the power utilizing any possible means. The first attempt to implement President’s rule in the state was in vain. There could be a chance to impose article 356 in the state though their obnoxious intervention in the cabinet decision by showing a wide spread law and order problem in the state. To corroborate the same one needs to carry out the reported barbaric activities. In addition, at the current time the leaders of the left parties are busy with the introspection of the election result and part of administration is busy to tackle the rescue operation. Hence, this is the correct time to attack on the grass root level workers and supporters of the left parties to damage their organizational base to be used in the next election. Certainly, it would lead to a two fold gain for AITC to win in an early election under President’s rule – as happened in 1972.
It is evident that the AITC party chief Ms. Banerjee is now very anxious to seat in the chair of CM; there is no crime in it. A bipolar political power centre in any democracy is healthy along with a constructive opposition. People would not be shocked and surprised to see the LF sitting in the opposition in next assembly along with a constructive political coalition in the governance. The only expectation for such a transition is though a free and fare poll without any pre imposed constraints at gun point. It is really doubtful to see such a transformation in the state politics because the active role of some of the current AITC leaders during the turmoil of 70’s is still in mind. In addition, recent experience of uncivilized attack and destruction of state assembly in 2006 by top leaders of AITC is fresh in mind of all people. Though the recent attacks on left supporters are not of the magnitude state had witnessed during 70s but it could proceed slowly towards the same if not been restricted at the moment collectively. Please don’t play a vindictive politics to murder the democracy in state. Participate in constructive politics as expected in any democracy and above all in any civilized society. The way AITC members are killing or forcing people at gun point is nothing but the manifestation of their basic character inherited from the congress hooligans of 70s. Any form of provocation or misuse of constitutional power to sponsor such crude inhuman activities is strongly against the constitutional guidelines for public representatives in the House. Here, it is worthy to remember the role of CPIM after the historical return into power in 1977. The party secretary Shri Promod Dasgupta had issued a clear guideline to the members and supporters to be patient and not to participate in any sort of revenge to the congress members. Similar strong and bold statement has not been seen from AITC leadership. There are few statements to restore peace over the state but not implemented so far. In 1977 such incidences were quite expected in lieu of the media hypothesis because of the fact of promulgation of emergency and its consequences. As expected from civilized and disciplined organizations, no such incidences were reported. The AITC leadership should learn from the instance to set up a well behaved organization to sustain in power for long time. The role of administration should also be criticized for not providing a timely protection to the distress people. A pro-active administration with strong determination to stop these anti social activities is a demand at the moment. Please don’t get hesitate to perform as per law. The leaders of the left parties are requested to provide all the support to the victims at the earliest. Otherwise, forceful erosion in their support base would nothing but make the left movement insignificant in the country which would be difficult to be restored. Finally, a humble request to the journalist friends: please do not support or sponsor any political activities which could terrorizecommon people irrespective of political color.