KOLKATA: The CPI(M) in West Bengal is actually happy after Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee blamed the party for driving out the Tatas from Singur. According to a top leader, such remarks only go to show that the Trinamool Congress considers the CPI(M) its greatest challenge in the panchayat elections slated to be held in a few months.
“Mamata Banerjee realises that the CPI(M) has regained quite a bit of lost ground in the rural belts of West Bengal, particularly after exposure of the teacher recruitment and cattle smuggling scams in which top Trinamool Congress leaders are allegedly involved. The CPM, along with its allies, organised several protests across the state. These were well accepted by the people. Mamata Banerjee knows that the CPI(M) will give it a tough fight in the panchayat elections. Hence, such statements tarnish the image of the party,” the CPI(M) leader said.
Over the last few days, after the Durga Puja, Mamata Banerjee has been denying that she or the Trinamool Congress had any role in not allowing the Tata Motors small car factory to come up in Singur, Hooghly.
According to her, she had only fought for unwilling farmers who were forced to part with land for the factory. “It was the CPI(M) that was responsible for the mess. We just wanted land acquired from unwilling farmers to be returned. There were other plots available nearby that could have been used for the factory,” she has been saying.
According to another CPI(M) leader, such statements are being made by Mamata Banerjee and her party colleagues, including minister Firhad Hakim, as the masses are suffering due to the dismal economic condition in the state. Despite holding several business summits, the West Bengal government hasn’t been able to attract large investors. Many continue to blame the Trinamool Congress for its role in driving out Tata Motors from Singur that may have shaken the confidence of other investors.
The BJP in West Bengal has lost a lot of ground, thanks to internal squabbles over leadership. Even after the 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal, in which the BJP’s performance left much to be desired, the party was considered the main threat to the Trinamool Congress. However, unlike the CPI(M), the BJP failed to take advantage of the situation even after the arrests of leaders like Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mandal. Rather, the rift within the state unit of the party was made public through irresponsible statements by its leaders.