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  India   Politics  08 Mar 2024  BJP’s ad in CPM journal irks TMC

BJP’s ad in CPM journal irks TMC

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY BASAK
Published : Mar 8, 2024, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2024, 1:42 am IST

CPM suggests TMC can’t criticise it

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
 West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

New Delhi: A front-page advertisement by the BJP in the CPI(M) Bengali mouthpiece Ganashakti has ignited a political firestorm in West Bengal ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The publication of the BJP advertisement in the CPI(M) journal has drawn a sharp attack from the Trinamul Congress, which questioned the political integrity of the Marxists. In response, the CPI(M) hit back, suggesting that the TMC lacked the moral high ground to critique their action.

Speaking to this newspaper, TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said the advertisement carried in the CPI(M) newspaper has “exposed the devious character of the Marxists”. He said that while in public the party was asking people to vote against the TMC and the BJP, but for “obvious reasons” the CPI(M) mouthpiece was “tacitly exhorting people of Bengal to vote for the BJP”. Another TMC functionary recalled the CPI(M) slogan during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls -- “Ebar Ram pore Baam” (This time vote for Ram, vote for the Left later).

Hitting back, senior CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu said the TMC was the last outfit to talk about “political ethics”. He claimed that instead of unnecessarily criticizing, one must also look at the content. Claiming that there was “nothing wrong ethically in carrying the advertisement”, Mr Basu argued that while “running a newspaper… one should be aware of the importance of advertisements”. Indicating that newspapers need ad revenue to continue, Mr Basu said that if the papers did not get advertisements, “how can they expose the misdeeds of both the BJP and the TMC”.

It may be recalled last year the CPI(M) mouthpiece and the TMC government had locked horns over advertisements. It was alleged the state government had halted advertisements to Ganashakti, citing its affiliation with the CPI(M).

While the CPI(M) justified publication of the advertisement, Left leaders pointed out editorials in the mouthpiece criticising the Narendra Modi government on issues ranging from free rations to religious polarisation. It also noted that the CPIM), in its English mouthpiece People’s Democracy, had in the latest issue attacked the BJP for organising “defections from the Congress and other Opposition parties”. The editorial asserted that “taking on the BJP requires a bold and consistent fight -- ideologically and politically -- against the Hindutva communal forces.”

Tags: ganashakti, west bengal bjp, trinamul congress, communist party of india
Location: India, West Bengal