ARINDAM CHAUDHURI
ANALYSES HOW CPM MIGHT JUST ABOUT DO THE TRICK AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME ON THE BASIS OF A COMBINATION OF WELL PLANNED STRATEGIES AND PRO-POOR PROMISES!

Lack of development, apathy towards the poor, scientifically implemented mass rigging, muscle power, murders, guns and goons... These have been the things that made the Leftist people of Bengal angry and furious, and made them think seriously of an alternative after decades. These are the things that made the people to come out and vote against CPM in the elections that have been happening of late, including the Parliamentary elections last year. Of course, that can’t take away the credit from Mamata Banerjee, who has been fearlessly taking the CPM head on! She felt the pulse of Bengal, had the courage and gave the alternative that Bengal was looking for. And it was only after the setback that the otherwise arrogant CPM leaders of Bengal received due to their loss in the general elections last year, that they really started taking her threat seriously and introspecting within.

Initially, with every passing day, Mamata’s popularity only seemed to surge and it seemed that in the upcoming state elections, the results would be a sure victory for the Trinamool Congress – unless she herself did something suicidal like showing her temper and breaking off her relations with the Congress, something that The Sunday Indian had cautioned about earlier too. TSI had also said that the CPM had enough means and relations to influence the Congress to break up with Trinamool and it would require great diplomacy on Mamata’s part to maintain her relations with the Congress. After all, CPM had only got five lakh votes less in the last elections. At the same time, theCongress has its own committed vote bank; and without them, Mamata’s possibility of winning is very less, given that there still remains an unshakeable mass which will vote only for CPM (even though there’s no doubt that CPM's vote bank has shrunk).

The fact that breaking the Trinamool-Congress tie-up was a possible way for CPM to again win the next elections was an issue known to us and many others. What no one expected was the possibility of CPM winning on its own merit! That, along with Trinamool’s breakup with the Congress, could be a double blow that Mamata’s party may find too difficult to overturn!

Unfortunately for Trinamool, going by one after the other recent policy announcements by CPM in Bengal, it seems that Trinamool wouldn’t just have to tackle the problem of the breakdown of their ‘mahajot’ (grand alliance) but also the growing popularity of CPM! One of CPM’s voter bases that got eroded due to the Nandigram tussle – the Muslim voters – seems to be slowly shifting its affections back, with the CPM declaring that Muslims will get huge scholarships and a ten percent job quota too! This, coupled with the fact that a lot of slum dwellers and hawkers on the streets are Muslims, suggests that there is more in store for them.Recently, CPM also declared that slum dwellers will get the land where their slums currently are, for a paltry one rupee!!! The CPM has promised rice at two rupees per kilogram for not only those below the poverty line, but even for the bottom twenty percent of the people above the poverty line! The same CPM, which took the hawkers head-on by removing them from the streets for the sake of votes, under the huge threat of losing power has now decided that pavement hawkers would get 1/3rd of the pavement to do their business!     Read More....

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