(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 10, 2011
TMC-Congress Join With Divisive Forces
From Our Special Correspondent in Kolkata
THE first phase of elections for 54 seats in northern districts of West Bengal will take place on April 18. The campaign, apparently lacklustre because of examination schedule and restrictions from Election Commission, has already reached its peak.
One of the major issues in north Bengal is unity and integrity of the people. This unity had been sought to be disturbed for years by various kinds of fissiparous and secessionist forces. Presently the movement for separate state in Darjeeling and activities based on identity politics have come into fore.
The mask has ultimately gone off. Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has openly declared their support for Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance. The leader of GJM, Bimal Gurung has announced it as their stand in a press conference in Darjeeling on March 31. They have extended their unconditional support to ‘defeat the Lefts’. Their support also goes for Adibashi Bikas Parisad, another divisive force, and for the BJP in selected seats. The CPI(M) has maintained for long that there was a tacit understanding between the TMC and the GJM. It also may be recalled that in a political tour to the North Bengal, Mamata Banerjee did not utter a single word against the demand of the GJM, which itself is the division of the state. She also had a meeting with the leaders of the GJM during that tour. It also has to be recalled that she visited North Bengal just after the assassination of the GNLF leader Madan Tamang by the GJM people. The real purpose of the tour was to provide oxygen to cornered Bimal Gurung. It is now becoming crystal clear that Mamata Banerjee is ready to extend and accept support from the separatist forces. The CPI(M) has stated that this decision of the GJM has only exposed the true nature of the link between the TMC and those forces who were out to divide West Bengal. However, the Nepali speaking people will not go by the dictum of Gurung.
On the other hand, Congress has entered into an alliance with Adivasi Vikash Parishad, particularly in Dooars region in Jalpaiguri district. GJM’s call for including Dooars in the so-called proposed ‘Gorkhaland’ has generated much heat and conflict with Adivasi Vikash Parishad even in the recent past. But now all of these forces have developed an unprincipled understanding with the sole aim of opposing the Left Front.
The Left Front candidates, from Siliguri to Alipurduar, in their campaign, have appealed to the people to see through this ulterior design.
The northern part of West Bengal has witnessed an unprecedented development in the 34 years of Left Front government. The agricultural scenario has undergone a radical shift with increasing production. The cropping intensity has increased. The far flung areas are now connected with a network of bridges and roads. Hundreads of new schools have been established. Now the new thrust has come through industrial development and urbanisation in rapid speed. The Left Front government has revived and developed rich cultural traditions of different ethnic groups. The Left Front candidates have emphasised the plank of development.
In this part of the state, tea gardens are important for economy and the livelihood of the people. The struggle of tea garden workers and strong support from the state government has earned big victories for them in the recent past including major hikes in wages. This has resulted in reinforcing strong support for the Red flag.