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Published On: Tue, Oct 3rd, 2017

Left in an economic reform-driven cleft

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buddhadeb-bhattacharya-650_020613092915KOLKATA : Even as Durga Puja holidays, not over yet, took winds out of political parties, the Left Front big brother CPI(M) is slowly and steadily getting into economic reform-driven cleft. And comrades in Kerala much preoccupied with BJP-RSS lashing up for a political change and Congress still sticking to rule of dynasty, will not come as a major political help for comrades in Bengal and North Indian states from Bihar to Punjab where they had pockets of influence!

Perhaps former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya heard footfalls of a reform-triggered political change,’’ says a Political Science professor of Calcutta University. It’s he who said several things, like Government cannot be a job giver, but can invite investments which can produce jobs,’’ he said, adding, “but so bad was Stalinist influence that he couldn’t do without it and invited a political dark horse that inked Left’s fading out.’’

Yes! When Bhattacharya on one hand struggled his way to invite investments, like, from TATAs and fought his way in party against Kerala and Karat lobby, he succeeded until he mixed it with Stalinist tactics and got everything out of hand. Just listen to Nandi Gram episode where instead of using tactics with innocent people, he used both Stalinist and Maoists strategy that not only brought down his Government, but inked party’s political irrelevance.

Incidentally, when CPI general secretary AB Bardhan and CPI(M) leader (GS) moved to withdraw support from Congress-led UPA II we were informed in Delhi that prime minister Manmohan Singh wanted to speak to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya  to stall the withdrawal of support! Thus Bhattacharya was a recognized economic reform-backer. “But that wasn’t our policy, we must clarify,’’ said a top party leader.
Not only Karat and Kerala lobby but Bhattacharya-led Bengal CPI(M) had to fight it out with Left Front partners. But a time came when “Bhattacharya had to accept the inevitable and political irrelevance.’’
The CPI(M) leadership  “has failed to come up with an alternative strategy at a time when economic reform-driven political realities are changing though they aren’t making life more equal in India,’’ a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, also a front partner , said.

Thus “we weren’t upset with what Ritabrata Bandhopadhyaya’s anti-Left activities whom party had to expel on grounds of ideology,’’ admitted a top Left leader. Incidentally, Bandhopadhyaya who happened to be a CPI(M) MP, openly showed off his expensive imported watch and pens and ideas that didn’t belong to the party. He was given a chance to rectify, to give up economic-reform driven culture, he didn’t and got shoved out!

All CPI(M) needed was to look for an alternative  strategy to fight reform-driven culture to discipline Ritabratas instead of choosing an easy option of throwing out,’’ admitted a top party leader, adding, “both changing political culture and party dissidents need to be accommodated, or we are in a cleft for good.’’


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