Will West Bengal change or will CPM return: ‘Parivartan’or ‘Pratyavartan’

Will Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee be writing West Bengal’s future from Writers’ Building? Will this state’s secretariat in Kolkata be her new office after New Delhi’s Rail Bhawan? Or will it be the eighth thumping consecutive win for the Communists?

As the bhôdrolok debate this, a prominent English daily published from the gentlefolk’s city has this story Thursday… about a possible exodus of red cadres from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM in short, if the peoples’ verdict finally goes in favour of Mamata, as projected by election forecasts.

A media survey has projected 210 – 220 seats for Mamata-led alliance in the 294-seat assembly. That means the ruling Left will get only about 70. In the 2006 assembly polls, the Communists-led Left Front had won over 230 seats.

‘The Telegraph’ quoted a party source as saying: “… winds of change are strong now… what we fear is that our cadres may start leaving the organisation for petty gains or because of Trinamool’s reprisals if we are defeated. Therefore, our current job will be to keep the flock together after the assembly elections.”

The newspaper also relied on another CPM leader to point out that the apprehension of an exodus stems from information pouring into party headquarters at Alimuddin Street, that such a trend has been noticed in the districts of Hooghly, Burdwan, North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas over the past few months.

“We have got reports that several party workers are drifting towards Trinamool in these districts. They are either crossing over for small gains in the form of getting work from contractors… or some of them involved in local skirmishes and used to strong-arm tactics are switching over to get shelter under the new dispensation. It’s difficult to arrest this trend but we will have to try.”

But look at this: A CPM insider tells me that the party will pull Mamata Banerjee down in case her Trinamool Congress wins. “Entire West Bengal thrives on CPM-led trade unions. We will not let her government function. We have enough rods to stop the wheel.” Does it reflect that the Left has already conceded defeat and appears frustrated?

Left defeat or Left win – I am not concerned. Will it be an end to one of the world’s longest-running democratically-elected Communist governments – I am not concerned. Will the results be a cause of concern for our Communist neighbour China – I am not concerned.

Right now, I am only concerned about the people of the state who have been promised Switzerland in India’s east.

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