The Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress on Thursday dismissed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request to join hands to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Several hundreds of offices of the Left parties in West Bengal are still occupied by Trinamool [Congress],” CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy told PTI. “More than 100 people were killed. Several thousands were thrown out of their villages. Still, that type of attacks are going on.”
Reddy said Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief, saw the Opposition not as political opponents but as enemies, and so her offer is “meaningless”. “It is she who is responsible for forcibly using violence against the Left in a very big way, and weaken the Left in West Bengal in the most undemocratic way and now what’s the meaning of this appeal?” Reddy asked.
West Bengal Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said it is Banerjee’s nature to first make a statement and then go back on her words, ANI reported. “If she is serious she’ll have to talk to our senior leadership,” he said. “The way BJP is growing in Bengal, it is due to Mamata ji’s failures.”
CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim also rejected Banerjee’s offer. “We can’t say about the Congress, but CPI(M) is under no compulsion of saving @MamataOfficial’s career,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “She has lost the moral right of even giving this call of fighting the BJP in Bengal. The TMC does not have any credibility to fight fascism.”
“The people of the state are witnessing in Bhatpara what happens if you vote for the BJP,” Banerjee had said in the state Assembly on Wednesday. “I feel all of us – TMC, Congress and CPI(M) – should come together in the fight against the BJP. It doesn’t mean we have to join hands politically, but on common issues at the national level, we can come together.”
Bhatpara has witnessed a series of clashes since May 19 when Assembly bye-elections were held.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that Bannerjee’s appeal to the Opposition showed the “fear psychosis” that had gripped her party. “It only shows that the TMC and Mamata Banerjee are afraid about the growth of the BJP in Bengal,” Ghosh said. “She has very well understood that she is going to lose the next Assembly elections in the state.”
The Trinamool Congress won just 22 out of the 42 seats in the state during the Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP won 18. The state will have Assembly elections in 2022.