People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 14, 2006
colour is Red.
the seventh time in succession, the people of Bengal have ushered in the Left
Front and with a massive electoral mandate.
The Left Front has won 235 seats of the 293 seats in the fray, and the
CPI(M) alone has won 176 seats.
Bengal opposition was left far behind, floundering in the wake of the popular
win. The media-hype about a ‘silent revolution in the EVM’s wrecking the
chances of a return to office of the Left Front’ notwithstanding, the Trinamul
Congress could win 29 seats, less than half the seats it had garnered in 2001
assembly polls. The Pradesh
Congress fared little better. Its
tally is 21, down from 26 in 2001.
a glance, the results look like this:
contested: 293 (Bhatpara countermanded due
to the death of a candidate)
Trinamul Congress 29
2006 assembly elections were held in circumstances that were certainly novel as
far as the Election Commission was concerned.
circumstances were marked by:
deployment of 60,000 paramilitary forces,
of 264 Observers,
imposed on all sorts of election campaign including graffiti,
of the state exchequer with Rs 150 crore plus worth of election-related
of names of millions of genuine voters on supposed grounds of their being
presupposed ‘dead’ or ‘shifted,’ and finally,
of the names of millions more of voters with photo ID cards while going
about the task of preparing a ‘flawless’ voters’ list
polling itself, provocations from various interested quarters notwithstanding,
was free, fair, and peaceful as it always has been under the Left Front
comparative study as in the table accompanying this report will make it clear
how the CPI (M) and the Left Front could work their way towards winning an ever
greater confidence of the people of Bengal this time around.
very crowded media conferences at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan, Bengal Left Front
chairman and secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M), Biman Basu said that it
went to the credit of the democratic, conscious, and patriotic people of Bengal
in making the polls free, fair, and peaceful.
Basu extended his hearty felicitations to the people of Bengal for ensuring a
massive political mandate for the left Front and the CPI(M).
of the role of the Election Commission, Biman Basu said that a small segment of
the EC officials including some Observers were not familiar with the ambience of
peace and fairness evolving in Bengal and had behaved in a manner that smacked
of rank inexperience.
Basu was also critical of a segment of the central paramilitary forces deployed
whose behaviour occasionally crossed decency and propriety.
Biman Basu did point out that great many central paramilitary personnel,
on the other hand, would express surprise at the peace and quietude of the
ambience prevailing in Bengal and would confess that they had been fed different
ideas about the conduct of elections being a daunting task in the ‘difficult
state of Bengal.’
Basu was of the view that in the days ahead, parameters ensuring the safeguards
against an arbitrary outlook and lack of even-handedness of the election
officialdom must be ensured. For
all cases of impropriety, enquiries must ensue, commented the CPI(M) leader.
outlandish claims from certain quarters about the present assembly elections
witnessing the emergence of the ‘men-of-the match’ in the Election
Commission and the media, Biman Basu said that such commentary, facetious and
improper, went to underestimate the vital role of the people of Bengal who made
the election a success by turning out in massive numbers.
to the media, Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, too, congratulated
the people of Bengal for the splendid victory of the Left Front and said the win
‘has further increased the responsibility of the Left Front government towards
implementing programmes of development.’
that socialism was historically inevitable, Buddhadeb pointed out that
developmental thrusts organised by the Left Front government needed investments.
Noting that the Left Front government never ceased in its strident
opposition to liberalisation, Buddhadeb said that new ideas, pro-people,
pro-poor, and pro-development were a welcome addition to the outlook of the Left
popular verdict in favour of the Left Front, commented Buddhadeb, was a mandate
for the policies of the Left Front and the CPI(M).
the days ahead, the seventh Left Front government, said Buddhadeb, would
consolidate the gains made by Bengal in agriculture, and further accelerate the
pace of industrial development. Buddhadeb
said that the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) missed the late Comrade Anil Biswas at
this hour of massive electoral triumph.