CPM apology to people changed situation: Biman
West Bengal's ruling Left Front chairman Biman Bose is confident that the combine will return to power.
Kolkata: West Bengal's ruling Left Front chairman Biman Bose is confident that the combine will return to power in the April-May assembly polls, saying CPM workers had been asked to apologise to people for past mistakes and that had changed the political situation a lot. He accused the Trinamool Congress-led opposition of basing "on falsehood" its campaign to end the Left Front's over three decades rule.
"By mid-2010 we started revamping our party organisation and adopted the campaign. We asked our party workers to admit and regret their mistakes and ask for apology from the people. Now the political situation has changed a lot," said Bose, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), which heads the Left Front.
The April 18-May 10 polls to pick a new 294-member assembly are being held in the backdrop of the drubbing received by the Left Front in the 2009 Lok Sabha and last year's civic elections and some assembly by-polls. Bose said the Left Front got 10 lakh votes less than the opposition in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls mostly because of "improper activities of Left activists".
"This was not accepted by the people. We took up the rectification campaign," Bose told IANS in an interview. "But we couldn't implement it during the civic polls as we needed time to find out the reasons for our Lok Sabha debacle. And the selection of candidates and campaign strategy (in the civic elections) were inappropriate. That's why we were defeated," the 71-year-old said.
Most political observers agree that the Front faces the stiffest test of its 34-year rule in the coming elections from the Trinamool-Congress combine. But Bose says the Left, holding the reins of power uninterruptedly since 1977, would overcome any anti-incumbency factor. He said: "Our rectification and door-to-door campaigns have worked. The mobilisation of masses in all districts has increased rapidly. We have only recently started speaking on the rectification campaign publicly. Therefore, people do not know many of the measures we have taken. Gradually this will come out."
Asked how different the upcoming polls were from past elections, Bose said: "It is different because the opposition campaign is based totally on falsehood and manufactured stories. A section of the media and imperialist forces are supporting them." Bose also felt that people were returning to the Left fold after watching the poor working of the Trinamool-run panchayats and municipalities. "The way the zila parishads (top-most tier of the rural bodies) and municipalities are being run by TMC, it is making people realise how this 'lot' of bad managers will run the state," said Bose.
"People are also getting experience from the way the railway ministry is running," said the veteran Marxist. Trinamool chief and Left's bete noire Mamata Banerjee is the railway minister. Bose said the Left Front was not losing sleep over the alliance forged by the Trinamool and Congress. Of the 294 seats, the Trinamool is in the fray in 226 seats and the Congress in 65.
"It is not a matter of concern for us. They have never protested against the anti-people policies of the central government and price rise. They won't be able to mobilise the masses against us," he said. In contrast, Bose said, the Left was like a phoenix born out of mass movement and several notches ahead of the 'seat-adjustment' based alliance between Congress and Trinamool.
Asked whether the CPM still nursed a dream of forming a Third Front at the centre, Bose said: "This type of thing cannot materialise unless Left parties and democratic secular parties launch a joint struggle for the people's demands. It has not taken a concrete shape today."
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