CPM Politburo member Nirupam Sen and Surya Kanta Mishra,the party leader in-charge of Orissa affairs,are said to have played a key role in bringing about an end to the BJD-BJP alliance in Orissa.
Party sources said it all began when Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee went to Delhi to attend the chief ministers meet on internal security. On the sidelines of the meeting,the West Bengal CM met his Orissa counterpart Navin Patnaik and both leaders reportedly discussed political matters in the meeting.
Though sources refused to divulge the details of the conversation,they said Bhattacharjee,once back home,intimated Sen and Mishra about the talks he had had with Patnaik.
Sensing an opportunity,Sen,a Politburo member,immediately informed CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and Politburo member Sitaram Yechuri.
Knowing well the BJD was ill at ease with ally BJP following the Kandhamal riots,the top CPM leaders quickly moved to assure Patnaik of their support in case he parted ways with the saffron ally.
We were receiving reports from our Orissa state committee that Patnaik refused to accept VHP diktats over the tragic incidents in Kandhamal and that he feared his image as a secular chief minister was tarnished by his allies, said a senior CPM leader at Alimuddin Street,the CPM headquarters in Bengal.
Party sources in Kolkata said the process was on for the past one month to help Patnaik make up his mind to snap ties with the BJP.
Party sources said though talks are at a preliminary stage,there is a possibility that the CPM and BJD will share seats in a few pockets in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The BJP is becoming weak,but this is not helping the Congress. It is obvious the so-called Third Front is expected to have more bargaining power during post-poll situation at the national level, a senior CPM leader said.
Shyamal Chakraborty,a CPM MP in Rajya Sabha and a central committee member of the party,said: After Orrisa CM joined hands with the Left,it is a reality that the Third Front is going to be a political force that cannot be ignored.