Monday, January 5, 2015

Bengal has no place for saffron: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

TNN | Jan 4, 2015, 12.24 AM IST

KOLKATA: Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee took stage on Saturday to reassure party supporters that the Left won't allow the BJP to strike roots in Bengal without a political battle.

"Trinamool has lost its moral right to rule Bengal. Even if the media wants the BJP to replace Trinamool, this is not going to happen. Bengal has no place for the saffron," Bhattacharjee said, while speaking at the 48th anniversary of the CPI(M)'s Bengali mouthpiece Ganashakti.

"There is no security in the state. Trinamool Congress has taken Bengal 10 years back. It is a retrogression. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has created a precedent. A state minister is now in jail. Who are those who are showering petals on him?" Bhattacharjee said.

But, the CPM leader reminded that it doesn't mean that BJP will emerge as the alternative. Bengal has a rich history of struggles — land struggle, Operation Barga initiative, movement for democracy that took shape in formation of the United Front and later Left Front. The BJP didn't figure anywhere in this course of history. Shyamaprasad Mookherjee was a great leader but his descendants couldn't make headway in Bengal," said Bhattacharjee.

The CPM politburo member then pointed to the right wing economic policies of the Narendra Modi government apart from his usual criticism against majority communalism. "BJP is taking the same route the Congress pursued. Modi is doing it vigorously. The BJP has with them RSS. Such policies are deepening the divide between the rich and poor," the former CM said. 

Bhattacharjee cites this as a major contradiction that will heighten further. "There are many rich people in the country. So are the upwardly mobile middle class that swear by Modi. They want more money, new car, new flat, shopping mall...On the other hand, there are a huge number of poor people who can't spend for treatment and education. The confrontation between the two income groups is inevitable. We are for the poor. Let us see where the BJP stands," the former CM said.

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