Time to seriously rethink Left unity: RSP

May 17th, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi/Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) It is time to “seriously rethink” on Left unity in West Bengal, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) said Friday after violent clashes between workers of the state’s ruling Left front partners Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the RSP in the panchayat polls left one person dead. The clashes have led to former West Bengal chief minister and CPI-M patriarch Jyoti Basu saying in Kolkata that the Left Front will have to “rebuild” its unity after three decades of ruling the state. However, a CPI-M MP said: “It is a problem but not a crisis.”

Abani Roy, RSP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, told IANS in New Delhi Friday: “We will take a decision (on Left unity) after the West Bengal state committee and secretariat meeting of the Left Front this month. Our party’s central committee will have a three-day meeting starting from May 30.”

The wife of a nephew of RSP leader and West Bengal Irrigation Minister Subhash Naskar was killed Friday after CPI-M workers set ablaze Naskar’s residence following clashes with RSP workers during the panchayat polls.

“It is time to think seriously about Left unity and the path we will have to adopt,” said Abani Roy. “The image of the Left Front which has been there for 30 years is getting more and more tarnished,” he added. He, however, did not say whether the RSP would pull out of the Left Front.

Roy, however, recalled that, “There were two front in 1969 - one included just the CPI-M, the other included all of us - the Communist Party of India (CPI), Forward Bloc and the RSP.”

Debabrata Biswas, general secretary, Forward Bloc, told IANS: “Our central secretariat is meeting on May 27 and 28. We have asked our state unit to give a complete report on the violence.”

Biswas pointed out that the CPI and the RSP had fallen out with the CPI-M following the outbreak of violence in Nandigram last year. “In fact, there was then a lot of pressure on the CPI-M and the Front could have come apart,” he said.

Hanan Mollah, CPI-M Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal, however does not feel that the latest incidence of feud within the Left Front is going to trigger a crisis.

“It is a problem but not a crisis. The issue will be discussed at a Left Front meeting,” he said. He reminded that in the 2003 panchayat polls there was more violence. “Nineteen people had died - of them six were RSP workers. The violence is unfortunate, but not new,” said Mollah.

Endorsing his view, Manjunath Majumdar, West Bengal state secretary CPI, said: “There is no crisis in the Left Front. This is poll-related violence.”

In 1977, eight parties came together to form the Left Front in West Bengal. The CPI-M, then the dominant partner, today has two thirds majority in the 294-seat legislative assembly.

The three smaller partners - the CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc - have been sharing an uneasy existence with “big brother” CPI-M. Leaders of the smaller constituents admit that the going has been getting tougher with each passing year, especially since Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee started his land acquistion drive to industrialise the state.

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