CPM, BJP join hands to take on TMC in pan­chayat polls

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story - CON­TIN­UED FROM P1

spon­dent, “On the de­mand of the lo­cal peo­ple, we have come to an un­der­stand­ing that we will sup­port each other (CPM-BJP) to keep the TMC in check. It is not about seat shar­ing, but co­op­er­at­ing with each other to check the dic­ta­to­rial TMC’s hooli­gan­ism.”

Ac­cord­ing to sources, both par­ties have de­cided to help in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates in al­most all dis­tricts.

“At sev­eral places, we (BJP) have not been al­lowed to file nom­i­na­tions, and in some places our can­di­dates were forced to with­draw their nom­i­na­tions. In such places, we have de­cided to sup­port ei­ther the in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates or the CPM can­di­date,” the BJP leader from North 24 Par­ganas dis­trict said.

CPM work­ers on the ground are also happy with this un­of­fi­cial “un­der­stand­ing”.

On the con­di­tion of anonymity, a CPM func­tionary from Ben­gal said, “Though we are poles apart in our ide­olo­gies, we have de­cided col­lec­tively and, on the de­mand of the lo­cal peo­ple to sup­port each other’s can­di­dates.”

Sev­eral joint ral­lies and joint cam­paign­ing by the CPM and BJP were seen at the vil­lage and block lev­els in dis­tricts like North 24 Par­ganas, Birb­hum, Na­dia, Pu­ru­lia and Mid­na­pore.

Se­nior BJP lead­ers have called this un­der­stand­ing at the grass­roots a “com­pul­sive” un­der­stand­ing, rather than a “tacit” un­der­stand­ing.

Speak­ing to The Sun­day Guardian, se­nior BJP leader and state vice pres­i­dent Jayprakash Ma­jum­dar said, “It is a com­pul­sive un­der­stand­ing that the ground level work­ers of both the par­ties have come to with­out even both­er­ing about the mes­sage from the top lead­ers—it is to op­pose the au­to­cratic rule of the rul­ing TMC gov­ern­ment. All those who op­pose the TMC have found the BJP to be the ma­jor Op­po­si­tion party, which can take on the TMC gov­ern­ment; there­fore, all ground level work­ers who are anti-TMC are lo­cally sup­port­ing the BJP. Ground work­ers of the CPM, which has units at the vil­lage level, have also de­cided to sup­port the BJP wher­ever pos­si­ble. And this is a phe­nom­e­non that is hap­pen­ing in Ben­gal, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the ground re­al­ity and not some­thing which is be­ing prop­a­gated from the top.”

The CPM, how­ever, main­tained that they would not get into any un­der­stand­ing with the BJP and called the TMC and BJP “two sides of the same coin”.

Dr Fuad Halim, se­nior CPM leader from Ben­gal and spokesper­son, told The Sun­day Guardian, “There is no un­der­stand­ing be­tween the CPM and BJP. The BJP at all lev­els is our po­lit­i­cal en­emy and if any of our work­ers are seen to be sup­port­ing the BJP or giv­ing an im­pres­sion to sup­port the BJP, those work­ers will be ex­pelled forth­right from the party. We have al­ways main­tained that the BJP and the TMC are all the same. In fact, the BJP has grown in Ben­gal un­der the shel­ter of the TMC. We will not sup­port ei­ther of the par­ties in any cir­cum­stances.”

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