Friday 15 April 2016

Politics and war: Synonimous

John Lily’s phrase “All is fair in love and war” in the Novel “Euphues”: The Anatomy of Wit” published way back in the year 1579 seems to be the most relevant phrase in the recent political scenario of West Bengal, as two of the uncompromising fighting giants in Bengal’s politics joined their hands with a close up smile, by way of seat adjustment in the ensuing Assembly Election of the State with a mission to up-root the ruling Trinamool Congress from the State.

 We have experienced U.P.A. Government at the Centre lead by the Indian National Congress supported by the Lefts from outside, though the experience was not at all sweet for the Congress. But in our State these two parties were the main political rivals till the end of the twentieth century. The CPIM led Left Front came into power in the State in the year 1977 and ruled the State for thirty four years and Congress party was the main opposition party in the State for about twenty five years of the Left regime. Congress party in the State suffered a division in the year 1998 when Trinamool Congress took its birth under the leadership of Ms. Mamata Banerjee and soon it became the main opposition party driving the Congress party from the chair of opposition in the State Assembly.

 Trinamool Congress started hue and cry against the ruling Left Front government and gained peoples’ attention and confidence. Several anti-government movements of the party were joined by the mass of the State picking up the movements to its thresh-hold point. Major movements at Singur and Nandigram against the land policy of the Left Front government drew attention of the entire Nation and beyond. Congress party in the State gradually became almost ‘name-plate’ with the advancement of the Trinamool Congress in the State.

 In 2011 Assembly election the 34 year old Left Front government in the State had to leave the chair miserably beaten by the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance. The alliance of Trinamool Congress and Congress did not last and the Congress party had to come out of the government. In last five years thousands of Left and Congress supporters joined the Trinamool Congress. Even some of the senior Left as well as Congress leaders preferred to change their colours to enjoy the power. Hundreds of party offices of the CPIM in the State remained closed, thousands of party members abstained from renewal of party membership. The CPIM led Left Front and the Congress party lost miserably in Panchayat and Corporation elections.

 The Left Front and Congress faced disastrous defeat in the Parliament election in 2015 when the Trinamool Congress won 34 out of 42 parliamentary constituencies in the State despite the nation-wide absolute Modi wave. In this election the Left Front could manage to get only two parliamentary seats while Congress bagged only 6 seats. Both the Left Front and Congress party in the State after the 2015 Parliamentary election could finally realize that it would be just next to impossible for any one of them to fight against almighty TMC. Both the parties could realize that the ruling party is quickly loosing its popularity for numbers of reasons.

 Sarada scam has forced one of the State Ministers to rest behind the bars while the All India General Secretary of the party has lost his chair. Many more reasons influenced the mass at large in the State to think twice before casting their votes. Both the Congress party and the Left Front thought this moment to be the ideal time to appear before the public in joined hands. Think-tanks of both these parties calculated the percentage of votes for the respective parties and concluded with the opinion that combined votes for the two parties would cause defeat for the ruling party in most of the seats in the ensuing Assembly election.

The dream of the Pundits of both the parties may yield positive result in the election, but there are lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ in it. The most significant factor is the credibility factor.  34 years of the Left rule in the State produced tremendous negative feeling for the Left parties while Congress party has almost no impact in the minds of the voters in the State. Another important factor is development. The ruling party in the State has done lot of infrastructural development in the State which may attract the voters. The allegation of corruption against the ruling TMC party shall have some impact in the Ballot box, but the question is how far? The voters of the rural Bengal are somewhat been benefited by the ‘Kanyasree’ and other projects of the State government. BPL card holders are being benefited by having rice at the rate of Rs.2/- per Kg. All these factors may jeopardize the calculations of the think-tanks of Left as well as Congress leaders, but both the parties have nothing to lose out of this seat adjustment. Is it true?

NO. If the equations of the Pundits fail in this election, I am afraid there will be just no-opposition in the State in the next ten years which is dangerous for the democracy. I strongly believe that there should be a strong opposition to build ‘shadow ministry’ to protect the citizens from the abuses one party rule.

Sreemoyee Bhattacharya
( PG MEDIA 2015-2017)


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