BJP the bigger threat, no need to go soft on Mamata Banerjee: Dipankar Bhattacharya | TTP
In this episode of “To The Point”, Asiaville spoke to CPI-ML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. He said that the merger of all Communist parties is a possibility and an important need.
The Communist Party of India's (Marxist-Leninist) success in Bihar came as a shock for many. While the Congress managed to win only 19 out of the 70 seats it contested, the CPI-ML won 12 of 19 seats it was allotted by the Grand Alliance. Its young candidates registered victories with mammoth margins, ranging between 30,000 to 48,000 votes.
In this episode of To The Point, we are joined by CPI-ML’s General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya to speak on the hits and misses in the Bihar polls, and what the road map for his party is in the West Bengal elections.
Bhattacharya insisted that the CPI-ML’s performance in the Bihar assembly polls was not a fluke. He said that the party’s electoral success was the result of the various social movements that were led by the party workers, measures by the party to help migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdown, and the solid organisational structure at the ground level in Bihar.
“Between us (CPI-ML) and the RJD, it’s a very natural kind of alliance. The vote transfer was seamless…The whole campaign by Narendra Modi and JP Nadda targeting the Grand Alliance and the CPI-ML aroused the curiosity of the people,” he said.
Bhattacharya dubbed the Congress as the weakest link in the Mahagathbandhan. He said the grand old party was lacking the sense of urgency and intensity while contesting the Bihar polls. However, he refused to put the entire blame on the Congress party.
The CPI-ML general secretary said that if the Congress had contested only 40 seats, and the remaining 30 seats had been divided equally between the CPI-ML, RJD and the two Left parties, the eventual results could have been different.
Notably, he raised concerns about the vote-counting process of several assembly constituencies where the Grand Alliance candidates lost by a small margin and indicated that postal ballots were not counted properly. The CPI-ML has sought the CCTV footage of the counting centres where their candidates lost by a narrow margin.
Importantly, Bhattacharya said that given the present situation, the merger of all Communist parties is a possibility and an important need.
“I am in no artificial hurry for that. The present situation has made many things possible which were not even thinkable a decade back. For instance, the kind of alliance we had in Bihar,” the CPI-ML general secretary told Asiaville.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left Parties have now shifted their focus to the upcoming West Bengal state assembly elections. The eastern coastal state is expected to go to the polls in April-May 2021.
Bhattacharya said that his party will contest a limited 15 to 20 seats and will try to conduct an issue-based campaign, just as they did in Bihar.
The biggest dilemma for the Left parties in West Bengal seems to be whether to attack the BJP or go after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. While Bhattacharya believes that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government needs to be held accountable for its failures, the biggest political rival for them is the BJP.
He asked the Left parties not to fall for “the BJP IT Cell manufactured criticism against Mamata Banerjee” and suggested that they should form their own arguments to take on the WB Chief Minister. The CPI-ML general secretary claimed that democracy has been under attack during the TMC regime and that this has enabled the BJP to project themselves as the champions of democracy in West Bengal.
However, Bhattacharya maintained that one shouldn’t believe in the allegations that Banerjee is indulging in communal politics as the BJP does.
Watch the full episode of ‘To The Point’ with CPI-ML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya here: