Congress-Left combine at the centre stage of Bengal politics and in control of the government.
Kolkata: At a time when the Trinamul Congress is throwing its weight behind a possible federal front with anti-BJP parties including the Congress in the Lok Sabha (LS) elections next year to bring a change at the Centre, the West Bengal Congress has proposed for an alliance with the CPI(M)-led Left Front to fight the Trinamul and BJP in the upcoming LS polls and the Assembly Elections in 2021.
Ruling out alliance with the Trinamul the nine-page proposal, a copy of which is with this newspaper, stresses on ‘Imperative of a broad-based partnership between Congress, Left political parties, civic and political organisations and enlightened citizenry in West Bengal to restore democracy, strengthen social cohesion and complement strength to achieve victory of non-BJP, non-TMC forces in Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and Assembly Election 2021’.
Drafted by West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Om Prakash Mishra, the proposal speaks about three key agenda — reclaim democracy and strengthen social cohesion— defeat BJP and TMC; to win majority of the seats and position a strong democratic and secular bloc in Lok Sabha and in the central government from West Bengal and Strengthen cooperation and unity and deliver the people from the misrule of the TMC in 2021 Assembly election.
The proposal was given to new AICC in-charge of West Bengal Gaurav Gogoi when he visited the state last month and met the state Congress leaders in Kolkata. On Friday Dr Mishra said, “A consultation is underway on the proposal.”
Blaming the CPI(M) for the break-up of the alliance (Jote) with the Congress earlier the proposal explains, “The decision of the CPI(M) not to continue the electoral understanding with Congress weakened the momentum the “Jote” had achieved during March-April 2016 and the Assembly election, 2016. It was unprecedented that electoral understanding between two political parties who have traditionally fought each other-politically, ideologically and in electoral terms — for more than six decades in Bengal-could be stitched, understanding reached in about 94 per cent of the Assembly seats and to a large extent successful vote transfer could materialize. The “Jote” could secure 39 per cent votes and 77 seats even though there was lot of misgivings, reservations, absence of common political-electoral strategy and programme and extreme resource crunch faced by both the parties.”
The proposal states, “Defeat of the “Jote” was no less helped by collaboration between TMC and BJP. As part of the understanding, RSS transferred the vote of a section of its cadre to TMC and TMC reciprocated the help by giving indirect support to BJP nominees like the State BJP President. It was openly admitted by the BJP leaders that they would prefer the continuation of the TMC rule rather than the prospect of a
Congress-Left combine at the centre stage of Bengal politics and in control of the government. Basically, in the opinion of the BJP leadership, the TMC is ‘manageable’ whereas Congress-Left is a permanent threat.”
According to the proposal, “Congress and Left political parties should come together either in a political front or possibly in a common platform or forum. The joint entity should be broad-based and should necessarily involve and include all the non-TMC and non-BJP political parties, political organisations, trade unions, civil society organisations and prominent citizens from various walks of life. The entity shall be created and functional not only in the context of LS elections of 2019 but as a continuous collaborative structure up to the Assembly election in 2021.”
Giving a roadmap it has charted 21 steps. Some of them are about to constitute, name and provide for a central office point, to begin with, in Kolkata, Asansol, Behrampore, and Siliguri, pamphlets in Bengali, English, Hindi, Urdu and Nepali printed in millions to be distributed over a seven-day period throughout Bengal to explain the need, rationale and significance of the political front-details to be finalized in wider consultation, a dedicated website, FB Page, Twitter handle of the political front, creation of a volunteers base of 50000 by October 2018, organising a massive rally at Brigade in mid-January 2019 with top national and state leadership, deliberation amongst non-BJP, non-TMC political parties regarding distribution of seats and finalization of candidates’ list for LS election by January 31, 2019.