Buddha appeals to Congress: Join hands against Mamata

He also said that Industrialisation would be a big issue in upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury | Kolkata | Updated: January 17, 2016 5:54 am
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPI(M), singur, tata motors singur, Congress Left alliance, West Bengal politics, TMC, TMC West Bengal, Congress and CPI(M), BJP in West Bengal, Bengal elections Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee, former Chief Minister of West Bengal at the left protest rally demanding new Industries and work at Singur on Saturday. The 190 km long march started from Singur Sanapara to Salboni West Midnapore. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)

At a meeting in Singur on Saturday, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee issued an open appeal to the Congress to join hands with the Left Front to defeat Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in the assembly elections due later this year.

The thought of a broad coalition against the Trinamool has occupied the minds of a significant section of the CPM leadership in recent times; the appeal to the Congress by Bhattacharjee, who is also a former Politburo member, is the first from a public platform.

“What is the Congress leadership thinking today? We are not alone. Come and join us. Every opposition party should come and join hands to dislodge this undemocratic government,” Bhattacharjee said.

 

 

Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee, former Chief Minister of West Bengal at the left protest rally demanding new Industries and work at Singur on Saturday. The 190 km long march started from Singur Sanapara to Salboni West Midnapore. Express photo by Subham Dutta. 16.01.16 Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee, former Chief Minister of West Bengal in Singur on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)

The Congress reacted with caution, saying decision-making of this kind must follow a “system”. On Bhattacharjee’s appeal for a joint front, C P Joshi, general secretary in charge of West Bengal, said: “That is the perception of the CPM. Congress will take a decision after giving due weightage to views of workers and the leadership. Congress has a system to come to such decisions.”

The CPM state committee is likely to make a formal proposal to the Politburo on approaching the Congress for a tie-up in the coming weeks, it is learnt. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had said earlier that once the state unit takes a decision and sends a proposal, the central committee would discuss it before taking a decision. His comments then focussed on technicalities of the process of decision-making, and did not rule out an understanding with the Congress.

The other key signal from the CPM meeting appeared to be the emergence of a consensus on a “reassessment” of the Bhattacharjee government’s line on the Tata Motors plant.

The entire Left leadership present at Singur iterated that the policy had been right — and if followed through, could have brought in sweeping changes and prosperity to Bengal. Bhattacharjee’s attempts to acquire land for the plant had triggered a wave of protests that have been seen to have led ultimately to the downfall, in the elections of 2011, of the 34-year-old Left regime in the state.

Left leaders from Bhattacharjee to Politburo member Biman Bose resolved to “do it again” in Singur, “once the people of Bengal hoist the red flag on Nabanna, the seat of Mamata Banerjee’s power”. The Left Front and 113 mass organisations aligned to it kicked off a padayatra that will cover 192 km through seven South Bengal districts before ending in Salboni in West Midnapore on January 22.

Bhattacharjee, who visited Singur for the first time since 2006, when land acquisition for the Tata project began, said the state had become a “graveyard” for industry under the Trinamool government. “Like Singur, Salboni too was set to get a Rs 35,000 crore steel plant. Where is that now?” he asked.

Months before the elections — the term of the West Bengal assembly ends on May 29 — the Left chose Singur for a public meeting to highlight the continuing stalemate over the return of land to farmers who had been unwilling to part with it — the first promise made by the Mamata Banerjee cabinet.

“You were twice unlucky. You have neither got compensation nor your land back,” speakers told the meeting that saw a significant attendance of Singur villagers. A farmer who said he had lost land, said: “We wanted our land back but we now regret having refused to give our land. We have lost land and now live on the charity of the government, on Rs 2,000 a month and some subsidised foodgrains.” The farmer declined to be identified.

Congress sources in New Delhi said that while the party’s leadership in Bengal was dead against an alliance with the Trinamool, it was largely silent on an understanding with the Left. The Congress central leadership, on the other hand, appears inclined towards joining hands with Mamata — preferring the force that could be its alliance partner in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, and win the largest number of seats in the state.

The Congress high command has mostly agreed with the views of the state units on forming alliances for state elections. Despite being in favour of an alliance with the JMM in Jharkhand, for example, it had gone alone because the state unit had wanted it that way.

“We are seized of the matter,” Joshi said. “The question of alliance or no alliance is before us. The process (of arriving at a decision) is continuing. We will consider the views of the workers and leaders and the political scenario in the country before taking a decision.”

In Kolkata, the Trinamool Congress mocked Bhattacharjee’s call for industrialisation, and said it was the erstwhile Left Front regime that had “destroyed” the industrial atmosphere of the state, PTI reported.

“We too believe that there is need for industrialisation and have taken up plans for it. We don’t believe in fake slogans like CPM. It was CPM which destroyed the industrial atmosphere of the state,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee was quoted as saying. “Criminals”, Chatterjee said, “always have the tendency to visit the crime spot again. So the place where heinous crimes like loot of farmland, killing of people and rapes were committed, has been revisited by them (CPM)”.

(With ENS New Delhi and PTI)

 

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. S
    SK
    Jan 20, 2016 at 3:57 am
    Rahul what happened to you , you did not say anything about Malda. That shows the hypocrisy of you and your mummy.
    Reply
    1. C
      CHANCHAL MAJUMDAR
      Jan 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm
      cpm shd think of people! not that fake secularism! india's secularism is fake!
      Reply
      1. K
        Kaliyug
        Jan 17, 2016 at 4:19 am
        Buddadeb is another old man who have lived past his usefulness for India and humanity. Congress is the biggest party that let the Muslims run amok, now West Bengal is facing this same issue in Malda and other places, by bringing in Congress this problem is going to grow, it is like asking stan to take over West Bengal as long as they let these weaklings stay in power.
        Reply
        1. R
          Rakesh Pandit
          Jan 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm
          Congress is SILENT on Malda and Airforce officer killing in Kolkata. They support Mamta's naked muslim appeat.
          Reply
          1. J
            Jit Sengupta
            Jan 17, 2016 at 11:09 am
            when NDA couldn't save India how it can save Waste Bengal?
            Reply
            1. M
              madan gupta
              Jan 18, 2016 at 3:35 am
              कांग्रेस तो ममता की कड़छी है.
              Reply
              1. K
                K S
                Jan 17, 2016 at 11:46 am
                The two parties which do not have any self respect are CPM and Congress. It was the Congress govt. in the Centre which dismissed the first democratically elected Communist ministry in Kerala in1958. Now CPM is going after the party which sacked its ministry. Congress party is also not better. For getting 40 seats in Bihar it fell down at the feat of a political criminal.
                Reply
                1. N
                  nav rattan
                  Jan 17, 2016 at 5:31 am
                  But Mamata too is appeasing the minorities at the expense of Hindus. Though it seems highly unlikely, it would be if the NDA could come to power in West Bengal. This will certainly save the state from being swamped by the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    David
                    Jan 17, 2016 at 12:46 am
                    Indian secularism is tirelessly preached to tolerant majority.
                    Reply
                    1. D
                      David
                      Jan 17, 2016 at 12:42 am
                      The tragedy of greater Bengal to West Bengal unfolding. Will Bengalis ever learn. Hindu potion declining precipitously.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Ravi Ranjan
                        Jan 17, 2016 at 2:06 am
                        Congress can do anything and even "sleep with the devil"as the saying goes to gain power.But the CPM who still talks of ideology and has been critical of the Congres's economic policies has to make its stand clear any case the fight is not going to be straight as the BJP will also be there.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Sitaram
                          Jan 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm
                          When were they not allies?
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Shyamal Ganguly
                            Jan 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm
                            Chanakya used Vishkanya against Chandragupta's enemy to keep the emperor safe. CPM is the VishKanya and anybody ready to sleep with her will get poisoned. This CPM party has no principle - it is only based on hatred and jealousy of the havenots against the haves.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sukumar Ling
                              Jan 17, 2016 at 3:20 pm
                              Communism is driven out from the world dictionary. You can't revive it .Stay at home.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sukumar Ling
                                Jan 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm
                                What about the legal immigrants of KASHMIR PUNDITS at Delhi ? What was done to our own people ?
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sukumar Ling
                                  Jan 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm
                                  What is our defense force/ BSF is doing ?
                                  Reply
                                  1. B
                                    Binu
                                    Jan 17, 2016 at 10:45 am
                                    Enemy's enemy is friend ! Politics of convenience and advantage; not based on policy !!
                                    Reply
                                    1. B
                                      Binu
                                      Jan 17, 2016 at 10:48 am
                                      Mamata, Congress and Communists always celebrated the influx of Bangladeshis into India and they are happy that their vote bank swollen. For them, national security is at the backseat. Their secularism is to let the Bangladeshi muslims flow into India unstopped. That is secularism. If a Hindu or another party raise voice against it, that is threat to secularism and communalism. Area there any West Bengal lovers to identify this difference and vote out these parties, once and for all?
                                      Reply
                                      1. Load More Comments