Like the panchayat polls of May 2008,the Lok Sabha election is again witnessing wide fissures among the Left Front constituents. Reports about disunity at the grassroots level among the Front partners have been regularly reaching the party headquarters,but the top leadership blames foreign hand for the mess.
Sources said the disunity has a link with the violent rural polls of last year,when at least 37 supporters of different Left parties were killed in turf wars with each other. The constituents are yet to regain trust in each other.
Take the Barasat parliamentary constituency,where the Forward Bloc has fielded Sudin Chatterjee,known more for his alleged leanings to the CPM than the Bloc. It has created a bitter factionalism within the FB and allegations are raised that the party has surrendered the seat to the CPM. Another section of the FB,however,defends the decision that there was so much of infighting within the party that it had to hire a candidate from the Big Brother.
We know that Chatterjee is close to the Alimuddin Street,but he is a Leftist intellectual. So we had no objection for his nomination, said Hafij Alam Sairani,state secretariat member of the Forward Bloc. That could be Sairanis official stand but thousands of party workers have not taken it so easily.
LF sources said the last Front meeting held at CPM headquarters on March 22 was confined to discussion on unity at the grass roots level, after reports came from several districts that workers of many constituent parties are not actively campaigning for the Front.
Subsequently,LF chairman Biman Bose issued an appeal urging the parties to form district level committees and sort out problems. Ironically,within 72 hours of Boses appeal,Siddhartha Roy,a senior leader of Forward Bloc in Birbhum quit the party,and joined the Trinamool Congress.
Latest reports indicate district level committees are yet to be formed in Coochbehar,South Dinajpur,South and North 24 Parganas the districts where the LF suffered severe setbacks in the panchayat polls. It is very difficult to convince workers to work for the CPM because we had asked our cadres to fight against it in the rural polls, said a senior leader of RSP referring to the clashes in Basanti,South 24 Parganas last year. The house of a relative of RSP minister,Subhas Naskar,was set ablaze allegedly by CPM cadres.
There are reports that a section of RSP cadres are supporting the Trinamool candidates in Birbhum,South 24 Parganas,Murshidabad and Coochbehar. There might have been some rift between parties but unity will be restored soon, said Kshiti Goswami,RSP leader and state PWD minister.
CPI state secretary Manjukumar Majumdar said they are trying hard to achieve unity among the grassroots-level LF workers. It is a fact that there is a rift among cadres of several parties, he said.
Of the total 42 seats in Bengal,the CPM is contesting 32 and the rest are divided among three LF partners RSP,FB and the CPI.
In Alipurduar,Joachim Baxla sitting MP from RSP,has decided to contest as an Independent candidate as he was not given the ticket. Similarly,the FB denied the ticket to Subrata Basu and Hiten Burman,sitting MPs of Barasat and Choochbehar,inviting their criticism.
Bose,however,sees foreign hand and money in splitting the Left unity and has warned LF constituents of such designs.