Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019
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Roll Call of MLAs will not Save TMC

From our Special Correspondent

In a meet the press programme held in Calcutta Press Club on April 27, Surjya Kanta Misra, secretary of the CPI(M), West Bengal state committee, said, ‘Everyday TMC is now taking a roll call of its MLA’s to find out,  how many are left, and how many have gone to BJP. But this roll calling will not save the party. Soon the entire TMC will be transformed to BJP, as it happened in Tripura.’

When journalists asked him why people are joining BJP, leaving TMC and CPI(M), Surjya replied, ‘In our(Left) rule of 34 years, West Bengal had never witnessed this game of switch over. The TMC started it from 2011 and now BJP is purposefully using it against TMC. As a result, TMC has no option left, but to sit back and take a roll call.’

Later, a controversy erupted over the prime minister's claim that 40, TMC MLA’s are keeping contact with him. Though, Modi is infamous for telling lies, but, events clearly indicate such a trend. Even before this roll call started, TMC strongman Arjun Singh, four times MLA from the Bhatpara Vidhan Sabha constituency in West Bengal had joined BJP. He is now the BJP candidate from Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency. Anupam Hazra and Soumitra Khan did the same, and, like Arjun Singh, they are also the BJP candidates in 2019 Lok Sabha election. The TMC candidate from Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency has not yet switched over. He eagerly waited to welcome the Ram Navami procession, even postponing his election campaign. Similarly Arunava Sen(Raja), MLA, Bagnan, shared stage space with Bajrang Dal, a Hindu militant organization.

Misra pointed out that there is no difference between the BJP and the TMC as far as their ideologies are concerned. He said. ‘TMC and BJP share the same standpoint in their chiseled and calculated attack on economy, industry, job sector, education, health care, infrastructure, administration and democracy. Both are recklessly trying for religious polarisation. They are just two sides of the same coin.’

Even in corruption, they complement each other. Misra said, ‘when corruption is the issue, TMC and BJP are identical. The present prime minister, in his 2014 election campaign in West Bengal, declared that the chit fund scam would be sternly investigated. None would be spared. He has come back again, after five years, to seek votes for BJP. Records are showing that the central government has no intention to carry out the investigation properly, as it has itself been smeared with a number of corruption scams. The central government is rock silent about the black money, farm loan waiver and doubling the farmers’ income.’

When journalists asked him what the Left should do at this time of crisis, Surjya said, ‘We are talking about the right to work. We demand that the central government must find jobs for the unemployed or give them adequate unemployment allowance. The Swaminathan Commission recommendations, to fix MSP at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of crop production must be implemented. The central government must provide the guarantee that it will buy the crop. There must be farm loan waiver. The crop has to be insured. If Modi government can waive off Rs 5 lakh crore of corporate loan, why it cannot implement the farm loan waiver? Only we have declared in our election manifesto that vacancies in the bank, insurance sector and Indian Railways must be filled up.’

When Misra was asked why the relevance of the Left has decreased in West Bengal, he pointed out a different political reality. He said, ‘The corporate media may think that the Left has lost its political relevance. But people are watching us.  People have witnessed our huge rally at Brigade Ground, farmers’ march from Singur to Raj Bhavan and the Uttar Kanya Kisan march. Only we have organized civil disobedience movement all over West Bengal protesting the ruthlessness of the state and central governments.  Can you find any other political party that can organise people? Only we are with the people to voice their angst. And in return, our Party members have been murdered, booked in false cases and driven out of their homes. And after all these attacks, only the Left have stood firm on the ground. People’s fight increases our confidence.’

Misra was also vocal on the NRC. He said, ‘Modi and Shah are determined to import the politics of religious polarisation in West Bengal. Which is why they are talking about the NRC and Mamata Banerjee is their key instrument in this regard. We do not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2018 and strongly condemn what is happening in the name of NRC. If religious identity is the determiner of citizenship, it is against our constitution.’