Kolkata, July 1: The Congress and Left parties need to come together in a political front or on a common platform in West Bengal to effectively fight the “murder of democracy” by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the “communal agenda” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), says a senior Congress party leader. “The joint entity should be broad-based and necessarily involve and include all the non-TMC and non-BJP political parties, political organisations, trade unions, civil society organisations and prominent citizens from various walks of life,” said state Congress General Secretary Om Prakash Mishra. Railing against an “unholy and undercover understanding” between the Trinamool and the BJP-RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) combine, he said Bengal now faced a unique situation.
Coming down heavily on the Trinamool, he said its “brutal and repressive measures” in “connivance” with police and administration against the opposition in the state was designed “to weaken Congress and Left parties and to indirectly encourage the BJP to fill the political space forcibly vacated”. “The systematic and forcible nature of defections of elected MLAs/local bodies’ functionaries throughout the state and unprecedented violence resorted to against opposition political parties… has served to increase communal polarisation that suits both TMC as well as BJP.” Strongly opposing any tie-up between the Congress and the Trinamool, he said while the Congress and Left parties have not compromised on the question of secularism, “Trinamool has a history of cohabitation with BJP for about 10 years”.
Asked about the failure of the Congress-Left alliance in the 2016 assembly polls, Mishra said: “Last time we got 39 per cent of the votes. The BJP’s vote share got reduced as the Left-Congress came together. However, he regretted that the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s decision not to continue the electoral understanding after the Assembly polls. “That weakened the momentum the ‘Jote’ had achieved during March-April 2016.” Mishra predicted that there would be a drop in the BJP’s vote share if the Left-Congress joined hands. “The BJP will be affected in a negative way. On the other hand, the combine would draw a lot of minority votes. Minorities trust both the Left and the Congress.” (IANS)