The suggestion floated by CPI-M leader Gautam Deb for the Left Front to enter into an electoral alliance with Congress to take on ruling Trinamul Congress ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections, did not find much favour with the three other Front partners – CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc. Dubbing the idea as “personal,” the three parties demanded immediate discussion on the issue in the Left Front.
Reluctant to react to such a suggestion, CPI state secretary Prabodh Panda said “our party strongly feels that the idea broached by Deb is not his party&’s line as CPI-M Visakhapatnam party congress clearly stated that it would not have any truck with the Congress”.
“If the CPI-M is actually thinking on the lines of toppling the TMC in the 2016 Assembly polls then let it place such a suggestion in the Left Front. But we are certain that it is not so and the CPI-M leadership is not at all thinking in that line,” Panda said.
RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami said that his party would not agree to such a proposal mooted by Deb, but the Left Front would have to chalk out its poll strategy right from now in view of next year&’s Assembly election.“But when such an idea has been floated, it should be discussed in the Left Front,” he said.
“We think there was no discussion in the CPI-M in the line mooted by Deb since its party congress resolution has made its stand clear on its relations with the Congress,” Goswami said. It could be Deb&’s personal viewpoint, he added.
“Our party&’s declared political stand is to maintain equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP and we believe that our strength lies in the working class only,” Goswami added.
Stating that the Congress was the father of economic liberalisation “which spells disaster for the poor man.” He said, “Considering the Congress’ past record how can we extend our support to this party which is very weak in its political strength in West Bengal”.
All-India Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas turned down Deb&’s suggestion, saying the only solution lay in exploring all possibilities to strengthen the Left Front since no short cut method will serve the purpose.”
“I don’t think Left Front will, at all, gain electorally by aligning with the Congress and this will send a wrong signal to the electors instead,” he added.
According to Biswas, Deb&’s suggestion was running counter to the CPI-M party congress’ document. “Should we assume that there is some inner conflict in that party?” he asked.
Forward Bloc leader Udayan Guha, MLA, while stating that to some extent “I am agreeable to Deb&’s suggestion to prevent division of votes,” however, said the Left parties had, in the past, joined hands with a splinter group of the Congress or Congress deserters, to defeat the ruling Congress in the state.
“In 1967, the first United Front government was formed by the Leftists by joining hands with Bangla Congress of Ajoy Mukherjee who was expelled from the Congress,” he said.
Former Chief Minister and Gandhite Prafulla Chandra Sen had also left the Congress and joined the Janata Party “with whom the Left also aligned once,” Guha added.
“We would like to know the CPI-M&’s party line in this regard. Let there be a discussion in the Left Front on this issue,” Guha said.
He alleged that his suggestions for seat adjustment with the Congress during the last civic polls in Coochbehar, did not find any support from his own party.