Frontline, Volume 29 - Issue 20 :: Oct. 06-19, 2012
Live Bites - Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member said: The stand we have taken on the reform agenda that is being pushed in such a hurry by the Centre is an uncompromising stand and should not be considered in terms of an increase or decrease in the percentage of votes. Ours is a principled stand and is distinctly different from what Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken. Her tactics are simply to occupy the Left’s space.
She does not address the root of the problems relating to the neoliberal policies of the Centre. I had joked earlier that instead of the slogan “Maa Mati Manush” [which she raised when she campaigned for the Assembly elections], Mamata is talking more about American President Barack Obama—even about inviting him to the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Vivekananda. Then there have been visits by Nancy Powell [U.S. Ambassador to India] and Hillary Clinton [U.S. Secretary of State], who came and had one-to-one talks with the Chief Minister. Can she not see the forces of imperialism working here? How the ruling class is succumbing to the pressures created by them? All that the Chief Minister was doing at the Centre was bargaining for some package or advantage, even during the presidential election.
Her apparent Left-like stand is actually anti-Left and anti-democracy. You can see that in the way she has attacked the trade unions, the way she has handled the all-India strikes, and the way she refused to accept the peasant suicides and the plight of workers, and the manner in which she has reversed the process of democratic decentralisation and land reforms. It reminds me of the trade unions that Mussolini led and the interpretation of socialism by the Nazis.’