hammer1.gif (1140 bytes) People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXV

No. 20

May 20,2001


Left Front Wins A Two-Thirds Majority

Trinamul Congress Resorts To Post-Poll Violence

Comrade Sailendranath Ghosh

Trinamul Leader Comes Out of "Withdrawal Mode"

B Prasant


Left Front Wins A Two-Thirds Majority

THE Left Front swept the West Bengal assembly polls, winning its way to office for the sixth time in a row. According to the CPI(M)’s state leadership, this victory is a historic verdict of the people of Bengal who had rejected the irascible and opportunist alliance of the Trinamul Congress and Pradesh Congress; the BJP too has not been allowed this time to "open its account’ in the state. The discredited bunch of people who formed a political outfit following their expulsion from the CPI(M) saw the deposits of all their candidates getting forfeited.

The final tally for the 294 seats, as it was officially announced after May 13, looks like this:


Total Seats 294
Left Front 199
Congress &  Trinamul 085
GNLF 003
Others 006

The distribution of seats among the Left Front constituents is as below:

Left Front 199
CPI(M) 143
CPI 007
Forward Bloc 025
RSP 017
Forward Bloc (M) 001
WBSP 004
DSP 002

Addressing a crowded press conference at Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan, former chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Jyoti Basu, said that the Left Front victory in the face of conspiratorial moves organised against it inside and outside the country, would provide an important boost to the further augmentation of the Lok Morcha (People’s Front) at the national level. Basu is the president of the Morcha.

While felicitating the people of Bengal for ensuring yet another victory of the Left Front, Jyoti Basu also noted that the people had rejected in toto the communal BJP, the separatist Kamptapuris and Jharkhandis, and had boldly come forward in their hundreds of thousands to negate the so-called "predictions" of the poll surveys.

Basu called for the concerted cooperation of the people, cutting across the lines of political affiliations, for the ongoing development in Bengal. "The victory," said Basu, "is historic and has certainly added an extra dimension of responsibility to the Left Front in terms of pro-people governance."

While congratulating the people for the way they "have elected the Left Front to office with a massive mandate," Left Front chairman Sailen Dasgupta noted the "visible manner in which the politics of untruth and slander has been relegated to the dustbin of history by the politically conscious people of Bengal."

State CPI(M) secretary Anil Biswas iterated that the Left Front win for the sixth straight time "has devolved more responsibilities on the Front, and we should ensure that we do not belie the hopes and aspirations of the people of the state in any manner."

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya identified the priorities of the sixth Left Front government. These are: strengthening of the agrarian base of the rural economy towards evolving a quantum leap in the formation of agro-based industries; augmenting the setting up of both heavy industries and knowledge-based industries including information technology; and creation of additional employment.

The CPI(M) leaders present at the press conference appealed to all the people of the state, irrespective of their political affiliations, to ensure that the environment of peace and amity did not get disturbed in any manner.


Bengal: District-Wise Break-Up

The district-wise pattern of seats won by the Left Front finally has this look:

District Left Front Others
Coochbehar 9 0
Jalpaiguri 11 1
Darjeeling 2 3
North Dinajpore 3 4
South Dinajpore 5 0
Maldah 6 5
Murshidabad 11 8
Nadia 10 5
North 24 Parganas 19 9
South 24 Parganas 12 11
Kolkata 9 15
Howrah 10 6
Hooghly 14 5
Midnapore 27 10
Purulia 9 2
Bankura 12 1
Burdwan 21 5
Birbhum 10 2


Trinamul Congress Resorts To Post-Poll Violence

WITH a hopeless and uncertain future facing them, the goons in the pay and patronage of the Trinamul Congress and Pradesh Congress have chosen to unleash violence in the districts.

Ina small village Astha in Birbhum, SFI worker Comrade Shamim Sheikh succumbed to massive chest wounds on May 13 when he suffered a direct hit from a country-made explosive. The explosive was thrown at him by pro-Trinamul Congress criminals who managed to flee the scene before the villagers could come out and get hold of them.

Comrade Shamim, who had worked tirelessly for the RCPI candidate from the nearby Hansan constituency over the past few months, had been receiving threats from the Trinamul Congress leaders of the area that they would teach him a good lesson once the polling was over. At least for once the Trinamul Congress leaders preferred to keep a promise, although in the most reprehensible manner imaginable, and did away with a Left activist in the prime of his life.

Ms Mamata Banerjee had once described Trinamul Congress candidate from the Ranaghat (West) seat, Shankar Singh, with a hint of pride. According to her, Singh was "a man with a ferocious record of violent deeds." Singh chose to live up to her leader’s expectation when, in the midst of an outburst of ecstasy of having managed an unexpected electoral success, he led a gang of hoods bursting bombs and showering the CPI(M) camp office in the Ranaghat town with a volley of brickbats. Comrade Girin Debnath (58), a CPI(M) worker, was hit on the head repeatedly as he was pelted repeatedly with bricks and stones. Debnath died on the spot from head injury.

According to eye-witnesses, the police chose to hang around and remain immobile as the Trinamul Congress goons went on indulging themselves in an orgy of destruction.


Comrade Sailendranath Ghosh

EVEN as victory processions of the Left Front were making rounds in most parts of South 24 Parganas district, Comrade Sailendranath Ghosh, chairman of the Budge Budge municipality died in a hospital. He was battling with death over the past one month. He had been shot and left for dead by hired killers of the Trinamul Congress on April 4 after they had pumped several bullets into him. He was 61.

Doctors had successfully operated on him to extract the bullets from his legs and from the side of the chest. However, there was no way they could take out the bullet that had lodged deep into the frontal lobe of the brain without endangering Comrade Ghosh’s life. Comrade Ghosh finally succumbed to septicemia.

A member of the Bata-Budge Budge-Birlapur zonal committee of the CPI(M), Comrade Ghosh was deeply involved in the trade union movement of the area and had served as a councilor of the Budge Budge municipality from 1981. He was an uncompromising crusader against realtors.

A 24-hour bandh was organised in the Budge Budge township to register the people’s protest against the killing.

Comrade Ghosh has left behind his wife and two sons. The elder son is at present in Moscow, studying mechanical engineering in a state university there.


Trinamul Leader Comes Out of "Withdrawal Mode"

MS Mamata Banerjee was quick to go into "hiding" when results started to roll in, heralding the massive triumph of the Left Front.

Repeated efforts on behalf of the media failed to bring her out onto the arena of footlights that she was so much enamoured of earlier.

Her "favourite" journalists quietly chose to opt for a change of tone and tenor in their columns as the truth of the hollowness of their claims for a "Trinamul Congress" landslide failed to match up to the hard political reality of facts.

Her new found friends like Pranab Mukherjee of the Congress openly condemned her wild pattern of behaviour and blamed her for the utter failure of the alliance of the two Congresses. Congress leader, and AICC member, Pradip Bhattacharya, told INN how Ms Banerjee’s tantrums had cut the ground from under the feet of the Pradesh Congress from the very beginning of the fatuous alliance.

At last she chose to "come out" of her short and awkward hibernation on the evening of May 14.

She was not repentant.

She was yet full of vituperative utterances about the leaders of the Left Front, including chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and state CPI(M) secretary Anil Biswas.

She moaned a lot about how the entire electoral process was a "rigged affair," and chose to blame the chief election commissioner (CEC) and the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) as "the agents of the communists."

She also waved around a sheaf of faxes that she had reportedly sent to "everybody who was anybody" in the Nirvachan Sadan (Election Commission office) in Delhi, crying out for "justice against the electoral malpractices of the communists." Apparently, her "cry from the heart" had fallen on deaf ears for, as she tearfully confessed, "nobody had bothered to even respond to my faxes."

Full of dramatics, she was (alternatively) angry and mournful.

There were few takers, however, for her side of the story.

Even journalists who swore by her and saw her as the de facto chief minister of Bengal long before elections had been declared, quietly slipped out of the press briefing even as she prattled on and flogged to death her refrain about "rigging by communists."

What she had not perhaps reckoned with amidst the heat and dust of her hectic smear campaign against the Left, was the cold fact that there is no place for a loser in the world of corporate journalism. It is a classic case of "woe to the vanquished."

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