By Rajat Roy
Describing the Manmohan Singh government as a "sinking boat", CPI (M) politburo member and the former chief minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed that the Left is trying to build a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative at the Centre. While commenting on the present political scenario, Bhattacharjee claimed that the
"Manmohan Singh government has to go, but BJP is no alternative." So, the Left is looking for an alternative which will have broad agreement on policy matters, he informed. But he did not elaborate on that subject. Bhattacharjee was addressing on Monday a party workers' rally at Arambag in Hoogly district.
Commenting on the situation in West Bengal, he dealt at length with his party's failures in the last few years and stressed the need for better organisational work. While highlighting some of the positive achievements of the Left Front government in its long tenure, he tacitly admitted that in later years there existed a strong disconnect between the party and the poor people. His advice to his party workers is that they should go to the people more and try to rebuild the bonding they had earlier.
In a tacit indictment of the party's growing dependence on money collected from the business community, the former chief minister asked his party men to collect fund from the poor people.
"It will have double effect; the people may ask a lot of questions about our party's activities. Also, our workers will be able to connect with them easily," he said.
He explained that the party would give priority to regain the support of that section of people who had gone over to the other side in the wake of the last Assembly elections.
"People were disenchanted with us for some our wrong doings during the last few years of Left rule. They sought a change. Now, people have started realising from their own experience that the present government would not be able to serve their cause. The peasants, students and women in the state have already started realising that," said Bhattacharjee.
Also, he pointed out that unless the Mamata Banerjee government made suitable changes to their land policy, the state would continue to be deprived from further investment in industry. "Our industrialisation policy was correct, but the process of land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram was faulty. It sent wrong message to the farming community in the state."