People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 09, 2004
Bengal: Fear Of Left Front's Mass Strength
Bengal will be going to the polls in the last round on May 10. In the build up
to the elections there, it has become increasingly clear that the CPI(M) and the
Left Front is headed for
a big victory.
The Trinamul Congress-BJP combine which is the main opposition and the
Congress are in no position to counter the solid mass support for the Left.
with this reality, from the outset, the opposition has been working to ensure
some intervention in its favour. The first charge made, through the hostile
media, was that West Bengal and Bihar are the two states most prone to violence
and rigging. This mischievous attempt to bracket West Bengal and Bihar was done
with a view to influence the Election Commission.
the first meeting of political parties with the Chief Election Commissioner at
Kolkata, the BJP representative accused the state government employees of being
biased. Soon after, the Election Commission decided to draft polling staff from
outside Bengal for polling duties. Staff from Assam, Orissa and Jharkhand are
being deployed for this purpose. This is a singular step which has been taken by
the Election Commission in no other state.
The Commission has not given any explanation why this is necessary for
news has come that some central observers are acting in a partisan fashion. The
Left Front has
cited the case of
two central observers in Katwa and Diamond Harbour constituencies who
have been trying to influence voters.
Another observer in the Asansol Lok Sabha seat has been asking the voters
why they vote for the CPI(M) and whether it is under duress.
Minister Vajpayee, in an election meeting in south Kolkata, has repeated the
canards against the Left Front charging that voters are intimidated and free and
fair polls are under threat in West Bengal. If officers belonging to the central
government who are posted as central observers behave in a partisan fashion, it
is not unreasonable to suspect a definite pattern.
charges of rigging have been made over the last two decades by the opposition
and the ruling classes as they are unable to come to terms with the organised
strength of the Left.
The organisation and consciousness of all sections of working people are
on display on polling day when they come out in large numbers to vote. West
Bengal has one of the highest polling rates in the country. Class consciousness
frightens the ruling classes including their supporters in the bureaucracy and
the media. This
is sought to be confused with the goondaism and criminalisation, which results
in the capturing of booths and terrorisation of voters in places like Bihar and
parts of Uttar Pradesh and other places.
hurling of baseless charges about the fairness of the elections in West Bengal
is a sure indication that the bankrupt opposition once again fears defeat at the
hands of the Left Front. May 10 will deliver another resounding verdict in
favour of the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal.