At the first signs of rift between the new electoral partners in West Bengal, the Left Front Friday debated the principal party CPM’s decision to forge an alliance with the Congress in the recently concluded assembly elections despite “differing stand” of the other parties of the Front.
Holding a meeting where all its representatives were present, the Front unanimously decided to chalk out a roadmap to take on the state and central governments but “without Congress” by its side.
Confirming the stand at a press conference later in the day, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “We would reach out to parties such as SUCI(L), CPIM(L), CRLI, CPI(ML) and ask them to participate in a united movement against the class issue and people’s issue.”
When asked whether Congress would be part of this “movement”, he said, “The Congress’s name was not mentioned (at the meeting).”
While the ruling Trinamool Congress came under heavy criticism for allegedly “sponsoring attacks” on Left Front’s supporters and workers, with Bose listing out instances of these attacks — “ransacking our workers’ homes and offices to cutting power supply, and implicating them in false cases to cases of extortion” — the parties roundly slammed the CPM-Congress “alliance”.
Sources said that Front parties openly questioned how CPM turned the decision to enter into an “electoral understanding” with the Congress for the assembly elections into a “full-fledged alliance”.
“Leaders of several of our partners had asked the CPM to clear its stand on Congress. While Bose had said that the Front will not share stage with Congress during the campaigns, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had himself joined Rahul Gandhi on the stage, which didn’t go down well with our supporters,” said a senior leader of the Front who was present at the meeting.
Bose didn’t disclose the details of the meeting but conceded that discussion on the reasons behind the electoral defeat “did not take place”. He added that parties have been asked to bring report from the local committees, which would be discussed in the next meeting.
Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury refused to comment on the development and said it was the Front’s “internal matter”.
“We entered into an alliance with everybody’s consent. What’s happening within the Left Front now is their internal matter and I don’t have to comment on that,” he said.
At the press conference, Bose also commented on the Indo-US joint statement. “After what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done, it will not be possible for India to create independent policies on its own. That freedom has been sold to the US. The sovereignty of the country has been attacked.”