Kolkata, March 28 (IANS) Accusing the Trinamool Congress-led opposition of basing its campaign on “falsehood”, West Bengal’s ruling Left Front chief Biman Bose exudes confidence that the combine would return to power in the April-May assembly polls as the “political scenario has changed” over the past one year following a rectification drive launched by the Marxists.The veteran politburo member of Left Front major Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) says the front, holding the reins of power uninterruptedly since 1977, would overcome any existing anti-incumbency factor by going to the masses and explaining the constitutional hurdles in implementing various pro-people programmes.
The polls are being held in the backdrop of the drubbing received by the Left Front in the 2009 Lok Sabha and last year’s civic elections and some assembly by-polls. Observers agree that the front faces the stiffest test of its 35-year rule in the coming elections from the Trinamool-Congress combine.
Bose said the Left Front got 10 lakh votes less than the opposition in the Lok Sabha polls mostly because of “improper activities of left activists”.
“This was not accepted by the people. We took up the rectification campaign,” Bose told IANS in an exclusive interview.
“But we couldn’t implement it during the civic polls we needed time to find out the reasons for our Lok Sabha debacle. And the selection of candidates and campaign strategy (in the civic elections) were inappropriate. That’s why we were defeated,” the 71 year old Left Front chairman said.
“By mid 2010 we started revamping our party organisation and adopted the campaign. We had asked our party workers to admit and regret their mistakes and ask for apology from the people. Now the political situation has changed a lot,” said Bose when asked whether the political situation has changed post civic poll.
Asked whether the front has succeeded in regaining the support of the people who had shifted allegiance to the opposition, Bose said: “Our rectification campaign and door to door campaign have worked. Mobilisation of masses in all districts has increased rapidly.”
Asked how the CPI-M would make the masses aware about the steps it has taken during the rectification campaign, Bose said: “We have only recently started speaking on the rectification campaign publicly. Therefore, the people do not know many of the measures we have taken.
“Gradually this will come out. But it is a fact that wherever the measures are taken in the true sense of the term, people of the particular locality get to know,” he said.
When asked how different the upcoming polls were from past elections since 1977, Bose said: “It is different because the opposition campaign is based totally on falsehood and manufactured stories. A section of the media and imperialist forces are supporting them.”
Bose also felt that people are coming back to the Left Front fold after watching the poor performances of the Trinamool where it is running Panchayats (rural bodies) and municipalities.
“The way the Zilla Parishad (the topmost tier of the rural bodies) and municipalities being run by the TMC are making people realise how this ‘lot’ of bad managers will run the state. People are also getting experience from the way the railway ministry is running,” said Bose who took active part in several political movements in the state spearheaded by the Communist in early sixties and fifties.
Trinamool chief and LF bete noire Mamata Banerjee is the railway minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation.
A political disciple of the turbulent 50’s and 60’s, Bose said the LF was not losing sleep over the alliance forged by the Trinamool and Congress. Of the 294 seats, the Trinamool was in fray in 226 seats, and the Congress in 65. three seats have been left to other parties.
“It is not a matter of concern for us. They have never protested against the anti people policies of the central government and price rise. They won’t be able to mobilise the masses against us,” he said.
In contrast, Bose said, the Left Front was like a phoenix born out of mass movement, and several notches ahead of the ‘seat-adjustment’ based alliance between Congress and Trinamool.
Asked whether the CPI-M still nursed a dream of forming a Third Front at the centre, Bose said: “This type of thing cannot materialise unless left parties and democratic secular parties launch a joint struggle for the people’s demands. It has not taken a concrete shape today.”
To a query on whether the Netai incident did not prove existence of armed camps in the forested areas of West Midnapore, Purualia and Bankrua districts, he replied: “No, I don’t think so. Netai is an isolated incident.”
Nine people were killed due to indiscriminate firing from an alleged armed CPI-M camp in Netai village of West Midnapore district Jan 7.