Describing the Lok Sabha poll as “very important” for the Left, former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed the vote gap between the Left and the Trinamool Congress was narrowing.
“If you analyse the results of the 2011 Assembly poll, you will see that the gap of votes between the left and TMC was just 30 Lakh and that gap is decreasing in our favour,” he told PTI.
The CPI-M politburo member said his party was trying to get back those who left it and expressed confidence that the Left Front would do well in the election.
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Asked to give an idea of how many seats his party will win in the Lok Sabha poll from the state, he said, “How many seats, I cann’t say. We are trying to win as many seats as possible. We feel this election is very important for the left. Left is the only guarantee to protect interests of the people”.
Reminded that the TMC had scored decisive victory in panchayat and municipal elections, he said, “What happened in the last panchayat and municipal elections was not popular support. They (TMC) had created problems before and during the election. We have decided to resist their terror tactics in the Lok Sabha poll.”
“We have also seriously reviewed our position since the last Assembly poll and tried to find out where we have failed. Our introspection is that there were indeed some mistakes for which a section of our supporters left us. That is the most crucial issue. We are trying to win them. A section of them are realising. We are openly telling them what were our mistakes,” he said.
Strongly pitching for industrialisation, Bhattacharjee said, “They (TMC government) have failed to create new job opportunities. No single investment came here in the last three years. You know what happened in Singur. Jindals have left.”
After Wipro came, Infosys had said that it would come and together about 90,000 job opportunities would have been created. But nothing is happening now”, he said.
On the rectification drive in the CPI-M, Bhattacharjee said, “It is a long-drawn process. It will take some time. We are working in the right direction. We will not compromise on this issue. We will take party workers into confidence. We are a democratic party”.
Asked if the expulsion of minority leader Adbur Rezzak Mollah from the CPI-M would affect its poll prospect, the veteran leader said, “I don’t think so. It will help improve the health of the party. The communist party should be a disciplined party based on ideology.”
Commenting on the performance of the TMC government, the former chief minister said, “It is zero on all fronts, be it industry, agriculture, law and order, health or education. No road, no power station, no bridge, no hospital. Nothing is happening. Only there are stone-laying ceremonies. It is ridiculous,” he said.
Raising the issue of atrocities on women in the state, he said, “No woman in Bengal is secure and safe. It is a serious situation. I tell you during our tenure too there were crimes against womem. But during our tenure we had made sure that law takes its own course and the criminals are punished. Now the anti-socials are taking over.”
On the abandoned Nano project in Singur, Bhattacharjee said, “I was sure that I am going to solve that problem. I thought she (Mamata Banerjee) will give some speeches and finally the factory will open.”
“But Ratan Tata finally decided to withdraw. He said he did not want to be an unwanted guest. Unfortunate. I came to know later that he had started dialogue with the Gujarat government long before,” he said.
The former chief minister insisted that his government had not forcibly acquired land in Singur, saying “I repeat at Singur the majority had given land on their own.”
“Singur has ruined the future of Bengal. She (Mamata Banerjee) is responsible for all that happened,” Bhattacharjee remarked.
Asked if the police firing at Nandigram had put the then Left regime on the backfoot, Bhattacharya said, “No, Singur and Nandigram were separate issues. In Nandigarm we had not sent the police to occupy the land.”
On Anna Hazare not attending the rally at Ramlila ground in Delhi with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, he said, “I really don’t know. I don’t know why he praised her and why he didn’t attend.”