The Left Swings Right
With the party in the doldrums, the CPI(M) cadre turn to the BJP to take on a marauding TMC
For many years now, in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal, it’s been a crime to be a communist. Even a slight leftward tilt can have an unthinkable backlash—Jagannath Mahato in West Midnapore wasn’t allowed to till his farm; Santan Basuli, a marginal cultivator here, was warned against harvesting his sesame crop; another farmer had to pay Rs 35,000 to get back the keys to his own house.
Their only fault was that they professed to being Leftists, says CPI(M) area committee member Mahasish Mahato, who recently supported the BJP candidate in wresting the Manickpara panchayat in West Midnapore from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). It’s not the official CPI(M) line, he admits, but a welling hatred of the TMC among the Left cadre overrules all else. For five long years since the 2013 panchayat polls, Left supporters have been denied any benefits from central schemes. They’ve even lost their ration cards, says ex-party MP from Jhargram, Pulin Behari Baskey.
To escape the TMC tyranny, Left supporters have been
MARCH PAST CPI(M) rally in Kolkata to protest TMC atrocities