THE Bengal CPI(M) had an active role to play in getting Orissa Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik to break its alliance with the BJP. Party sources in Kolkata said the process in this regard had been on for the past one month.
The CPI(M) top brass expect that a tie-up with Patnaik will help the party in Bengal. This is because BJDs inclusion will not only benefit the Third Front but put pressure on the alliance between Mamata Banerjee and the Congress in the state.
Shyamal Chakraborty,central committee and Rajya Sabha member,said: Everybody was considering the Left as an isolated group. After the Orissa CM joined hands with the Left,it is a reality that the Third Front is going to be a political force which cannot be ignored. He admitted that Patnaiks turnaround would help the Bengal CPI(M) in the forthcoming polls.
The dialogue between Patnaik and the CPI(M) took place when Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee went to Delhi to attend a Chief Ministers meeting on internal security. On the sidelines,they had a discussion on political matters. Though sources refused to divulge details of the conversation,they confirmed that the deliberation between the two led ultimately to the distancing between the BJP and BJD and the latter coming close to the Left.
Bhattacharjee,after his return from Delhi,intimated Nirupam Sen and Surya Kanta Mishra,in-charge of Orissa affairs,about the talks he had with Patnaik. Sen,who is a member of the Politburo,intimated party general secretary Prakash Karat and Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury.
The CPI(M) knew that after the Kandhamal riots there was a growing distance between the BJP and BJD. 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 that his image as a secular Chief Minister was tarnished by his allies, said a senior CPI(M) leader.
Party sources revealed that though talks were at a preliminary stage there was a growing possibility that the CPI(M) and BJD would share seats in a few pockets in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The development will be a boon for the party in Bengal,according to CPI(M) top brass.
The BJP is becoming weak,but this is not helping the Congress to gain. It is obvious that the so-called Third Front is expected to have more bargaining power during post-
poll situation at the national level, said another senior CPI(M) leader from Bengal.