Left divided over support to TMC leader Mamata
A day after CPI leader AB Bardhan said an alliance with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee could be a possibility, his associates from the CPM have said the question doesn’t arise.
‘No way,’ CPM leader Rupa Bagchi said in Kolkata on Tuesday.
‘She is authoritarian, dictatorial and does not believe in democracy. We will never support her,’ said another CPM leader Surya Kanta Mishra.
Bardhan had on Monday said that he is not averse to partnering with the chief minister and her Trinamool Congress to keep Narendra Modi out of power.
‘The whole idea will be to keep Modi out if it is possible. I don’t give the BJP more than 165-170 seats and with all they can’t go beyond 210, therefore BJP has to be kept out. And for that all options including Mamata will be discussed,’ Bardhan had told a private news channel.
Mamata’s aversion to the Left is legendary. After defeating Left Front government in 2011, she has relentlessly blamed the Left for leaving Bengal struggling with poor infrastructure and massive debts.
As he suggested a tie-up with a bitter rival, Bardhan said, ‘Why should Mamata become a central figure in the alliance? There are so many people whose policies are so different and they are anti-BJP and anti-Congress.’
Though attempts at forging a coalition of non-Congress, non-BJP parties have not taken off, Left leaders have held out the possibility of post-poll tie-ups. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat talked about a ‘repeat of the 1996-like situation’ and the Congress supporting a government of secular parties to keep the BJP out of power.