March 29, 2009

Left goes digital, scripts Nandigram, Singur stories to win back rural Bengal

Express News Service
Posted online: Mar 28, 2009 at 0445 hrs

Kolkata : Stung by the growing strength of Trinamool Congress in rural West Bengal as exhibited in the last year’s panchayat polls, the ruling CPI(M) is now banking on digital mediums to reach to its grassroots supporters.

The CPI(M) does not want to make the two episodes - the Nandigram and Singur debacles — its Achilles’ heel and hence it has created CDs to put across the party’s view on industrialisation to the voters. All the 26,000-odd party units throughout the state have been asked to show the audio-video CDs in their respective areas.

“The idea is still in a preliminary stage,” says CITU state president Shyamal Chakraborty, in-charge of producing these CDs, adding that the party will produce a full length film on the issue.
Another reason for adopting the modern mass communication tool is that the CPI(M) lacks crowd-pullers and stalwarts like Jyoti Basu, sources say.

So, the party’s election strategists have decided to take the help of modern equipment to attract voters, especially the young voters in rural Bengal. The party has already produced a CD comprising Basu’s speech which will be distributed after April 16. “More are coming. The party has planned to make CDs of the conflict areas in Bengal politics,” said a senior leader of the CPI(M).

On Friday, one of the CPI(M)-backed directors of a city theatre gave a sneak preview of the proposed film on Singur to a select group of CITU leaders. “First, we will see this and then it will be distributed among the supporters,” said CITU state secretary Kali Ghosh.

Sources in the CITU said the rushes contain details on the case of Suhrid Dutta, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of masterminding the gruesome murder of teenager Tapasi Malik. “The film will show how he was implicated in the case,” said a leader. “Suhrid Dutta’s case has tarnished the image of the party, so we have to react. We think this issue is still alive in the minds of the people,” he added.

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