TMC’s stand against Left, Congress raises questions in poll-bound Bengal

The strike was referred to as in protest against baton cost and use of tear fuel shells by the police throughout an agitation in Kolkata and Howrah by youth and scholar fronts of the Left events on Thursday. To cease the younger males from marching to Nabanna, the state secretariat, and voice their demand for jobs, the police even erected barricades much like those witnessed throughout the farmers’ agitation in Delhi.

The BJP alleged that with such a crackdown the ruling social gathering is making area for the Left and Congress and serving to them paw into the anti-establishment votes that helped the saffron camp rise in Bengal. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress and the Left contested as opponents whereas the BJP received 18 of the 42 seats, due to an enormous swing in Left votes in the direction of the saffron camp.

Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday didn’t help the final strike, calling it anti-development, and alleged that the TMC helps the Left and Congress regain floor.

“This is part of Mamata Banerjee’s tactics to dig into the BJP’s vote share,” mentioned Ghosh.

The allegation got here against the backdrop of the tender stance TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and her leaders took in the direction of the CPI (M) in January whereas her follower-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari brazenly appealed to Left and Congress staff to assist the BJP oust the ruling social gathering. “I appeal to our friends in Left Front and Congress to attend rallies of their parties but vote for us in the interest of Bengal,” Adhikari mentioned at a rally in West Burdwan district in January.

The Left Front’s resolution to announce a common strike at such quick discover shocked many since this was not the primary time the police used power to disperse Left agitators. The Indian Secular Front, a brand new platform launched by standard cleric Pirzada Abbasuddin Siddiqui from Hooghly district, additionally supported the strike. Siddiqui has proven keenness to have a seat-sharing association with the Left and Congress.

Although Bengal’s Marxists took half in the all-India strikes referred to as by commerce unions and farmers’ fronts in the current previous, they didn’t organise any Bengal bandh in not less than 5 years, Left leaders mentioned. In 2016, the Left commerce unions had referred to as a common strike in Bengal however it noticed poor response.

In sharp distinction, roads, highways and railway tracks have been blocked in components of each district on Friday. Shops and established have been closed in components of north Bengal too the place the BJP made most inroads in 2019. “Railway services were affected in several sections in the morning,” mentioned Okay D Das, chief public relations officer of the Eastern Railways.

“In a way, the strike helped the Left parties evaluate their presence on the ground,” mentioned Manoj Bhattacharya, state secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, a associate in the Left Front.

CPI (M) common secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was in Kolkata on Friday, claimed that success of the strike proved {that a} “Left, democratic, secular alternative” is rising and the competition is a triangular one.

“How can Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi, who rose to power by leading processions, crack down on people’s movements today. They follow the same path and people are rising for their rights. The coming election is not one to seek change in regime but to protect our democratic rights,” Yechury mentioned.

“The TMC and BJP have created this narrative on a bi-polar election for their own advantage. It gives the BJP the opportunity to exploit people’s anger against the TMC while the ruling party gets the support of voters with secular views. In 2019, there was no alternative before voters. Now, there is one,” Yechury added.

TMC leaders mentioned Yechury and Ghosh have been each incorrect and the competition stays a bi-polar one. “Mamata Banerjee does not need parties with microscopic presence to win elections,” mentioned a cupboard minister who didn’t wish to be quoted.

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