(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 24, 2011
LEFT FRONT POLL CAMPAIGN IN
It’s Time to Tell Who Stands Where
From Rajendra Sharma in Kolkata
AS soon as
you enter the
polling that took
place on April 18 for 54 seats spread over 6 districts, not only one
elections to the 294-member
In the meantime the West Bengal Left Front is concentrating its attention on the second and third phases of the polling that are scheduled to take place on April 23 and April 27 respectively. While 50 assembly seats in Murshidabad, Nadia and Birbhum districts are to go to the polls in the second phase, the third phase would cover 75 seats in North and South 24 Paraganas and the metropolis of Kolkata. Hindi speaking people form a sizeable part of the population of Kolkata and North 24 Paraganas.
briskly proceeding almost simultaneously for both these phases. Chief
Buddhadeb Bhattacharya addressed two mass meetings at Bijpur and
North 24 Parganas district on April 18, saying the people of Bengal
know what the Trinamul slogan of a change means for them. The common
in a pitiable plight because of the kind of change one is witnessing in
Trinamul controlled panchayats and municipalities. The Trinamul kind of
means destruction of whatever positive
Panihati meeting, the
speakers included CPI(M) candidate Ahibhushan (Dulal) Chakraborty,
Goswami who is the CPI(M)’s candidate for the
Prakash Karat reached Kolkata on April 19, to take part in the poll
for the second phase. He addressed two mass meetings in the evening in
first mass meeting in Matiaburj by questioning the slogan of ‘change’
raised by the Trinamul Congress – Congress alliance. He reminded the
that Trinamul Congress is an integral part of the Congress led UPA-2
that is ruling the country for the last two years since mid-2009. He
attention to the incessant and excruciating rise in the prices of
commodities during these two years, some other anti-people policies of
central government and the spate of corruption scams that have taken
this period. Accusing the Trinamul Congress of being a part of all
misdeeds, Karat said its leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee, cannot escape her
responsibility by taking the plea that nobody had asked her about this
thing, nobody had told her anything, that she did not know anything
misdeeds. Urging the Trinamul supremo to desist from such theatrics,
said, “Here she poses as a tigress but becomes a deaf and dumb doll
The CPI(M) leader said these forces want a ‘change’ in Bengal to do here precisely what they have been doing in the rest of the country through the UPA-2 government. Moreover, if they are attacking the Left, it is precisely because they want to implement their deathly policies in the country with a vengeance. The reason for the concerted attacks being launched on the Left by all the rightist, reactionary and pro-imperialist forces is that the Left is the main obstacle in their way. Appealing to all the toiling and deprived people to close their ranks and rebuff all these attacks on the Left, Karat expressed the conviction that a mandate to the Left Front for the eighth term would be the people’s fitting response to these attacks.
The CPI(M) general secretary appealed to the people of Matiaburj to vote the CPI(M)’s candidate, Badruzzaman Mollah, to victory.
On the same
addressed another mass meeting in
The delimitation of electoral constituencies has led to a lot of alterations in the assembly segments in Kolkata and its effect can well be seen in the Matiaburj and Port areas as well. This is one of the reasons that instead of having a one-to-one contest, Left Front candidates in both these areas have to face multi-angular contests. Both these seats have a preponderance of poor, toiling people, and unorganised workers are in a majority in this population. Muslim minorities form a big chunk of population in both these segments.
Badruzzaman Molla’s constituency is a Muslim majority area. The BJP and also the Muslim League have put up their candidates here. Apart from Mumtaz Begum, official candidate of the Trinamul Congress – Congress alliance, Abdul Khaliq, a rebel Congressman, is also in the fray here. In response to queries about what effect the presence of a rebel Congressman would produce here, Mollah has only a one-line answer: “Who can say what they would do in the end.” In any case, there is real dissatisfaction within the Congress, which has been further aggravated by the fact that the Trinamul Congress put up Mumtaz Begum as its nominee after she deserted the Congress.
Though Mollah is contesting an assembly poll for the first time, he is an old and well known local leader, is a councillor in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, and was chairman of the Borough-15 till the last Municipal Corporation polls. He remands that the people of this assembly segment, which now comprises the northern portions of the Maheshtalla municipal constituency and six wards of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, do have some experience of the Trinamul brand of ‘change’ at the municipal level, and this experience is making them stand up against the Trinamul-led alliance. The Trinamul Congress is in control of the Maheshtalla municipal board for the last two years and of Kolkata Municipal Corporation for the last eight months. Of the wards that comprise this particular constituency, 9 are held by the Trinamul Congress and 6 by the Left Front. Mollah is confident that the bitter experience the people have got here about Trinamul dispensation will prove enough to bridge this gap. He emphatically says, “A big part of the public is with us.”
On the other hand, opposition to Moinuddin Shams is clearly divided. Pitted against him is former Trinamul MLA and a member of Mayor-in-Council, Farhad Haakim, as the official nominee of the Trinamul led alliance. But, outgoing MLA, Rampyari Ram, is also in the fray after the alliance rejected her claim to this seat. It is another thing that none of these two can be strictly called a former MLA of this constituency.