TNN | Jun 28, 2014, 02.05 AM IST
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee came out of his self-induced disengagement on Friday and gave a call to the ranks not to take the Trinamool assault lying down.
KOLKATA: Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee came out of his self-induced disengagement on Friday and gave a call to the ranks not to take the Trinamool assault lying down.
The murder of an elected CPM member in the Tehatta panchayat office was the immediate turn signal for the CPM politburo member who had otherwise confined himself within the CPM party office at Alimuddin Street.
But this time, Bhattacharjee didn't ferret the dream of bringing about a turnaround. Instead, he wanted the Left to earn the credibility of a responsible Opposition when the BJP is keen on occupying that space, particularly after the saffron surge in Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls. Bhattacharjee also warned against the spurt in RSS activities in the city and the districts.
"People are scared. They are not getting police protection. Police and administration have sided with the ruling party. They (Trinamool) have been continuing with the assault on Left activists and sympathizers with the help of police for the last three years. Thousands of Left supporters have been driven out of home and hearth. Those who remain are not being allowed to pursue their occupation. Who will protect them?" Bhattacharjee said at the concluding day of the three-day Left dharna at Rani Rashmani Avenue against terror and price rise.
Sending out the signal to the grassroots to defy the anarchy, the CPM politburo member explained why the Left have to take to the streets. "A tea stall owner is being asked to wind up his shop if he is a Leftist. A vegetable vendor is being denied access to the market for his political belief. The police and administration have sided with the ruling party. The Left have to provide them with protection when the police have failed in their duty. We are committed to the poor. We can't keep silent," he said.
Pointing to the plight of the workers at Hind Motors and Jessop that have stopped operations, and the uncertainty in jute mills where wages are falling due to dearth of orders, Bhattacharjee held that none but the Left can uphold their cause. Coming down heavily on the ruling Trinamool and BJP for the price rise, Bhattacharjee said: "Rice is selling at Rs 38 a kilo. The Modi government in Delhi has hiked railway fares. The poor feel marginalized. Who is bothered? All these do not affect the glitterati that have entered Parliament as Trinamool MPs. When we had the strength of 60 in Parliament we could prevent the UPA government from taking anti-people policies," Bhattacharjee said.
At the same time, he cautioned the gathering over the BJP's bid to occupy Opposition space in Bengal. "BJP is a rightist party. It began with railway fare hike and is against of subsidy on fuel, transport and food prices. Their leaders want the corporate to run the country and they will run the government. Worse, the RSS is spreading out to villages in the state of Tagore and Nazrul Islam," he said.