Deccan Chronicle

Ahead of 5th poll phase, CPM terms Didi ‘fascist, intolerant’

CPM has accused Mamata of ‘provoking’ April 10 CoochBehar incident


The fifth phase of the West Bengal polls will be held on Saturday amidst the shrill campaign unleashed by the Left parties to project Trinamul boss and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as “fascist and intolerant”.

In fact, after the April 10 Sitalkuchi incident in which four people died in CISF firing at a polling booth, CPI(M) leaders have pursued the BJP line and accused Banerjee of “provoking” the violence. “The CPI(M) leaders and their social media warriors went on wilfully to reinforce the ‘provocatio­n’ narrative that was circulated by the BJP”, says Prof Aditya Nigam in his blog

CPI(M) mouthpiece Ganashakti has relentless­ly targeted Banerjee and repeatedly equated her with the BJP.

Some articles have openly talked about Banerjee’s “fascist regime”. Even CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has described her as “fascist and intolerant”.

Reacting strongly, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said: “Each and every milestone of the CPI(M)’s

34-year rule is drenched in blood.”

He also claimed it was “not Mamata Banerjee, but the CPI(M), which helped the BJP make inroads into Bengal”.

In an article “Census of Political Murders in West Bengal during CPI-M rule1977-2009” published in Left-leaning weekly Mainstream, it was stated: “CPI-M adheres to the cult of violence. Its character is anything between a fascist party and a Mafioso. In fact, by their public activities, the CPI-M activists lean more towards a mafia organisati­on.”

The 2010 article written by D. Bandhopadh­yay said: “Devoid of any high ideology and believing in the cult of violence, the

CPI-M used murder as a political instrument since

1978 in an organised manner.”

The writer continued: “In 1997, Buddhadeb Bhattachar­jee, in reply to an Assembly question, stated that between 1977 and 1996, 28,000 political murders were committed… It meant on average

25.7 murders were effected in a month. It meant the daily rate of murder was four. That is to say, one political murder took place every six hours for the entire 19 years between 1977 and 1996...” He also wrote of the Marichjhap­i massacre, murders of monks and nuns of the Ananda Marg groups, the Bantala rapemurder case, the Suchapur mass murders, and Singur, Nandigram, among others.

Speaking to this newspaper, Roy claimed between

1977 and 2011, “there were at least 53,000 political murders”. He spoke of the

2001 Chhoto Angaria massacre, in which 11 TMC workers were allegedly burnt alive by CPI(M) workers.

He referred to the killings of landless labourers allegedly by CPI(M) cadres near Nanoor in Birbhum district in 2000. Roy reminded everyone of the killings of nine people by CPI(M) workers at Netai in Birbhum in 2011. It may be recalled that three years after the killings, then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattachar­jee admitted the Netai incident was a “grave mistake” committed by party workers.

Roy pointed out that history shows there’s “no difference between a fascist and a Communist regime”. On the issue of suppressin­g freedom of expression, Roy reminded that in 1993, then informatio­n and culture minister Buddhadeb Bhattachar­jee had dismantled the Press Corner in Writers

Buildings, claiming it was a “potential security threat” to chief minister Jyoti Basu.

Countering the CPI(M) propaganda blitz that it was Banerjee who had helped the BJP make inroads in West Bengal, Roy recalled the famous Shahid Minar rally in the mid-1980s where Jyoti Basu and BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpyee, along with others, held each other’s hands in a “spirit of camaraderi­e”.

He also wanted to know why Jyoti Basu “did nothing to stop L.K. Advani’s rath yatra as it entered West Bengal in 1993?” He pointed out: “The moment it crossed over from Bengal to Bihar, it was (Bihar) chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who stopped the rath in its tracks.” Roy added that in each and every no-confidence motion against the Congress, “the Left had joined hands with the BJP”.

 ?? PTI ?? Polling officials collect EVMs and other election materials before leaving for election duties for the 5th phase of West Bengal Assembly elections, at Bidhannaga­r in Kolkata on Friday. —
PTI Polling officials collect EVMs and other election materials before leaving for election duties for the 5th phase of West Bengal Assembly elections, at Bidhannaga­r in Kolkata on Friday. —

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