The Left Swings Right

With the party in the dol­drums, the CPI(M) cadre turn to the BJP to take on a ma­raud­ing TMC

India Today - - STATES - By Romita Datta

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

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