People wanted change of guard, say Left veterans

May 15th, 2011 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Jyoti Basu Kolkata, May 15 (IANS) Veteran leaders who served in West Bengal’s first Left Front ministry of Jyoti Basu feel that the alliance was voted out this time as as the public got annoyed by the “un-communist” culture of a section of its leaders and they wanted a change of guard.

The Left should introspect why it failed to read the pulse of the people and must caution the Trinamool Congress, which is set to form the new government, that the same fate awaited them if they too failed to deliver, they said.

“The people desperately wanted a change and they have got it. They were fed up with the un-communist culture and corruption of a section of party workers,” Debobrato Bandopadhyay, state secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), told IANS.

Bandopadhyay handled the jail and panchayat ministry in the first Left Front government, which came to power in 1977 and remained a minister for 24 years at a stretch in five Left governments till 2001.

The RSP is an ally of the 10-party Left Front.

The Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance decimated the 34-year old Left Front government by bagging 227 seats in the 294-member state assembly.

Mohammad Amin, who was transport minister between 1977 and 1982, said the Left would have to analyse the reasons for their defeat.

“We have accepted our defeat. People have rejected us. We have to introspect and analyse to find out why we failed and couldn’t understand the pulse of the people,” said Amin, a Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member.

“We have to analyse our defeat and continue our struggle,” he said.

Amin was later allotted the portfolios of minority affairs and labour between 1996 and 2006.

Hashim Abdul Halim, legislative and judicial minister in the first Basu ministry, recalled the historic victory that had followed a long struggle.

From 1982 he has been the assembly speaker and created a record by presiding over the house for 29 years.

“It’s the common masses who create history. In 1977, history was created after a long struggle. Now the people have voted us out. If Trinamool works well, it will remain. Otherwise it will also be voted out,” said Halim.

(Pradipta Tapadar can be contacted at

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