Sunday’s Brigade Parade Ground rally would be a litmus test for the CPM and other Left constituents to prove its political standing with its principal opponent and the ruling Trinamool Congress steadily poaching into its support base.
By tradition, the success of a Brigade Parade Ground rally is measured in terms of crowd turnout and the CPM is desperate to show that it still holds some sway among the masses.
In this context, the CPM’s North 24-Parganas district president and former housing minister Gautam Deb is likely to play a crucial role as he had been active among all Left leaders to continuously organise agitation programme and the public rallies.
He is expected to bring in the maximum number of supporters to the rally from North-24 Parganas and areas like Barasat, Basirhat, Sandeshkhali and parts of the Sunderbans.
A CPM state committee member wanting anonymity said Deb will be playing the role that once Subhash Chakraborty, the former Sports and Transport minister of the Left Front government who is no more, played. Chakraborty used to be known as a crowdpuller in the party with his strong organisational network. It is to be seen how far leaders like Deb fulfil the responsibility.
As for speakers, party all India general secretary Prakash Karat; state’s former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state general secretary and Left Front convenor Biman Bose are expected to address the rally.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra, also a politburo member, could be one of the speakers. Ashok Ghosh, all India general secretary of the Forward Bloc, and state secretariat member Hafiz Alam Sairini are also likely to address the rally.
Political circles indicated that the Left Front will be harping on its efforts to forge an alliance of Third Front in which Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha has already been a partner. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are also inclined more to this Front as opposed to the idea of the Federal Front mooted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Left rally is also expected to highlight the BJP’s Brigade rally in which party leaders Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh were soft on Mamata and even spoke of a co-existence of the TMC and the BJP at the state and at the Centre, respectively.
Buddhadeb and other senior CPM leaders had been continuously attacking Mamata for having a secret understanding with the BJP in the post-poll scenario. While the Left has repeatedly asked the TMC leadership to come clean on Modi as BJP’s PM candidate, the latter has remained silent on the issue.