The villagers of Narayangarh in West Midnapore and Ranaghat in Nadia were shocked to see CPI(M) and Congress leaders taking part in a joint procession.
CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Misra is contesting from Narayangarh and Shankar Singh of Congress is fighting in Ranaghat.
Both the areas have witnessed clashes between the supporters of the two parties that led to loss of lives since Independence.
Jayanta Bera, a retired school master said the rally showed how nervous Congress and CPI(M) leaders are and this is a fight for their existence. “My younger brother was a Congress supporter and I had been to the CPI(M) party office when he was beaten to death. The police came and we had to give declaration that he had been killed by people as he had committed a crime. How can I forget the day,” he said. He maintained “We have seen the arrogance of Suryakanta Misra and as our family are supporters of Congress, CPI(M) leaders asked our neighbours not to talk to us. But the situation has changed now. Suryababu is walking with some spineless Congress leaders and workers with vested interest and they do not know if voted to power what their fate will be.” Both Congress and CPI(M) leaders avoided questions raised by the elders and tried to convince them the alliance was the need of the hour.
This story was repeated and Congress leader Shankar Singh who had been criticised by the CPI(M) was seen in a joint rally. “This is the alliance of some leaders with vested interest and they will be punished by the people,” said a veteran Congress leader of the area. Meanwhile, the trouble over seat sharing is yet to be resolved. Rabin Deb of CPI(M) said that talks were on and all problem regarding fielding of candidates in 18 constituencies where election would be held on April 4 had been resolved. But neither Deb nor Congress leaders said anything on the scene in Murshidabad where Congress has fielded candidates against Left in some key constituencies. The Congress mediators have not yet raised the issue with Adhir Chowdhury for whom it is a prestige fight. “The problems will soon be over and there will not be any friendly contest,” said Rabin Deb. One will have to wait for a day or two to get clear picture, said Pradip Bhattacharya of Congress.