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HomePoliticsMamata’s crackdown on bandh is aimed at old adversary —  Left parties...

Mamata’s crackdown on bandh is aimed at old adversary —  Left parties she ousted in 2011 

Political experts say Mamata Banerjee has always been wary of Communist leaders in Bengal and she will never allow even the 'slightest revival' of the CPI(M) here.  

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Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has come down heavily on the strike called by trade unions of Left organisations and backed by the Congress. Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers clashed with protesters across the state Wednesday while the police detained opposition leaders and lathi-charged agitators in Malda. 

The police have also registered seven cases in connection with the violent incidents near railway premises in the state. 

The chief minister is vehemently opposed to the strike that she has termed as a way of imposing ‘goondagiri’ on the streets, adding that action will be taken according to the law.  The Bengal government had also issued an order stating salaries of government employees would be cut if they were absent Wednesday while also cancelling leaves. 

The crackdown, however, has opposition parties accusing the chief minister of double standards as the protests were primarily against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). 

Mamata Banerjee has been one of the most vocal opponents of the CAA, NRC and NPR. Her actions also go against her very own stance on the issue —  the chief minister had last month called for a non-BJP chief ministerial alliance to fight the citizenship law. 

Analysts, however, say with the clampdown against the opposition parties, the chief minister was addressing one of her old adversaries — the Left parties she unseated in 2011.    

Also read: As UP seeks ban on Muslim body PFI, Mamata govt distances itself from the organisation 

CM wary of the Left

According to political experts, Mamata Banerjee has always been wary of Communist leaders in Bengal and she will never allow even the “slightest revival” of the CPI(M) here.  

“Mamata Banerjee needs to be a bit more prudent than indulging in petty politics. The Left parties have been protesting against CAA, NRC and NPR since the beginning but eight of her MPs were absent in Parliament on the day the CAA was passed,” said JU professor Partha Pratim Biswas, a political analyst. 

“The strike today was not called against her party so she could have exercised a little restraint. Given her stand on bandhs, she could have stayed neutral.” 

Biswas believes that the chief minister’s actions will play into the BJP’s hands.

“The clampdown shows she will not allow even a little opposition space,” Biswas said. “This attitude helps the BJP in Bengal. By not allowing the Left and Congress to survive, she ensures space for the BJP.”   

A senior leader who is part of Banerjee’s core committee told ThePrint that she dislikes the opposition as she believes that her party’s defeat in a number of constituencies in West Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was due to the CPM and the Congress.   

The chief minister had during the 2019 elections urged voters, mainly Muslims, to not vote for CPM-Congress alliance. “Voting for the alliance means division of votes and this will help the BJP,” she had then said. “Do not vote for them as they have nothing in Bengal. They are only signboard parties.”

But if the protests are anything to go by, the state may witness a triangular contest. Wednesday saw Left and Congress leaders coming together, leading rallies and holding pickets together. 

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha, said there was a possibility that the party will ally with the CPM for the 2021 assembly elections but added that the final decision will be taken by the party high command.   

“We will surely advocate for the alliance with the CPM. We never called it off,” he said.

“Our vote shares slumped further when we fought alone in the recent bypolls. There is no point in dividing votes,” he said. “The alliance is now a political compulsion. The CPM should think over it. Mamata Banerjee and the BJP’s politics are the same — both want to polarise. That is why she does not want us to occupy any space in the state.” 

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh was elated by the lack of unity.

“Bengal forgot the last time a bandh was held,” he said. “The CPM-Congress combine pleaded with the CM to allow them to hold the rallies but she will not allow the Opposition any space. Now, both of them — Trinamool and CPM — will start calling each other the B team of the BJP, which means we are the A team.”  

Also read: Why Left bastion Jadavpur University has become a battleground between Mamata and BJP 

‘Mamata’s practising politics of deception’

Opposition leaders are now accusing the chief minister of ‘headline hunting’ and practising the “fascism of the BJP”. 

The chief minister is nothing different from the BJP, senior CPM leader Sujan Chakrabarti, who was detained by police in the Jadavpur area, said.

“Mamata’s statements are proof of an unstable mind. She once called (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee a good leader and (L.K) Advani the bad one. Then she shifted to calling Advani the better one and Modi the bad boy. Now she is concentrating on Modi being the good one, but Shah is bad,” said Chakrabarti, speaking to ThePrint from the central lock-up at the Kolkata Police headquarters.   

“She cannot speak against the cause as she has to be there in the league of opposing Modi but she needs to send a soft message to Delhi too by clamping down here. Her politics is always deceptive in nature,” Chakrabarti, who is leader of Left parties in the state legislative assembly, added.   

Congress leaders also took a dig at the chief minister. 

“Mamata Banerjee always believes in headline politics. She wants to remain in the news. But there is no seriousness in her moves,” said Amitabha Chakrabarti, general secretary of WB Pradesh Congress Committee.

“She protests against the CAA but does not allow other parties to do the same. Her government denies permission to other organisations that wanted to take out protest rallies. This is fascism.”  

Also read: Siddiqullah Chowdhury — Mamata’s ‘extreme’ minister who clashes with Modi & Sheikh Hasina


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  1. Much toooo selfish, power hungry and in love with herself and power to be able to do anything that is sensible. Does she even stop to think what she has done by opposing the bandh called against the centre for a cause that this power hungry CM herself is protesting?

  2. “Die as a hero or live long enough to see yourself as a villain”- Harvey Dent

    She surely saved WB from Communist but continued its ideology of anarchy.

    WB’s suffering continue……

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