Left parties differ on who is the 'main enemy' in WB

Left parties differ on whether BJP or TMC is the 'main enemy' in West Bengal

The CPI(ML) leadership is arguing that the BJP should the be the Left’s main target in Bengal

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. Credit: PTI file photo.

Even as the Left Front started seat-sharing discussions with the Congress well ahead of the Assembly elections next year, cracks began to appear in the Left camp over whether the BJP or the Trinamool Congress (TMC) should be considered the 'main enemy' in West Bengal.

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya argued that being the “bigger danger”, BJP and not TMC should be the key focus of the Left party’s attack. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury refuted the logic saying if the Left party’s only target BJP and not the TMC, the saffron party would get the most of the anti-TMC votes, capitalising on the anti-incumbency factor.

After winning 12 seats in the Bihar Assembly election, the CPI(ML) leadership is arguing that the BJP should the be the Left’s main target in Bengal. Bhattacharya said that neither TMC nor any other party should be put into the same bracket with the BJP.

“One should remember how BJP came to power in Tripura, Assam and Bihar. Keeping tat in mind it should be the main target of the Left party’s attack in Bengal,” said Bhattacharya. He clarified that his party was not seeking any alliance with the TMC to keep the BJP at bey in Bengal.

However, in a recent interview to the CPI(M) mouthpiece in Bengal, 'Ganashakti', Yechury said that “any urge” to defeat BJP encompassing TMC in the process would be “self-defeating” as then the saffron party would be the sole beneficiary of the anti-incumbency factor against the TMC Government.

“Any urge to defeat BJP encompassing everybody including TMC is self defeating. In that case, all anti incumbency sentiments will only favour the BJP, as the only opposition. Such a tactic will ensure the victory of BJP,” stated Yechury.

He also said that BJP was the “main political enemy” in Bengal and rest of the country but if the Left parties did not attack the TMC then the “objective of defeating BJP will be defeated.”

“Such perceptions, if any, are misplaced in our opinion. TMC is in the state government. How can you not fight this anti-people government? But it is wrong to say that the struggle is only against the state government. CPI(M) is consistent in fighting against the policies of the central government.

Yechury said that the BJP and the TMC both want to create a “bipolar narrative” to ensure that there was “no political space for a third formation.

“BJP and TMC both want a bipolar narrative to work. Either TMC or BJP. They both encourage this narrative so that no political space for a third formation can be gained. This bipolar narrative, too, will help BJP. People against TMC will go for one way towards BJP. The policies of TMC in Bengal are anti-people, little different from BJP”s policies. A credible third alternative will be formed through struggles against both these forces,” said Yechury.