13 May 2011

West Bengal Elections: Change Vindicates Our Stand

Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS) welcomes the election results in West Bengal, which have given a decisive defeat to the Left Front after 34 years of uninterrupted rule by them. We congratulate the TMC- Congress combine on this victory. This victory vindicates the stand that PBKMS has been taking for many years now, that the Left Front has become an instrument of oppression of the people of Bengal, and that it has failed miserably to play the historic pro-working people role that the Left must always play.

While the media may project this as a single individual, Mamata Banerjee defeating Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the Left Front, we know that behind this defeat is the disgust of many people in innumerable small towns and villages with their local CPI(M) dada (party boss)  and his dadagiri (bossism). The Singur and Nandigram struggles have given the common men and women the courage to protest against this bossism, and that has resulted in their resistance to the everyday bullying and terror of the CPI(M), as well as this electoral defeat. 

The CPI (M) had become an arrogant, intolerant party which had only the capacity to line the pockets of its own coterie and had lost the ability to listen to (let alone dialogue with) the working people of this state. There are high expectations from the TMC and one looks forward to their fulfilling this. We look forward, first, to a halt to inter-party violent clashes in our state. We look forward to the TMC establishing true democracy in the place of party- autocracy.  We look forward to the TMC fulfilling the aspirations of the working people in this state for secure livelihoods, better wages, cheap food and for safe working conditions. We look forward to their reversing a Government that was controlled by syndicates or cartels of contractor and industrialists and that was held at ransom by irresponsible Government officials into a Government that responds to people’s needs. We look forward to their dealing sternly with corruption and nepotism in their own ranks, without relying only on the incorruptible image and popularity of their main leader.

We also look forward to the CPI(M) and its smaller partners  playing the role of a responsible opposition, standing by people who are in struggles and raising their issues in the Assembly. It is a historic opportunity for the CPI(M) to cleanse itself internally of corruption and contractor lobbies. Unfortunately, the CPI(M) and its Left Front  partners have become used to being “arrangers” and middlemen between the Government and their own coteries. They have become the proponents of the paiye deba rajniti – the politics of arranging benefits for a few faithful followers. They now have the opportunity to genuinely become a part of working class movements – a role they have totally neglected since their Government was in power.

We look forward to an active Bengal which will continue to voice its disapproval of anti-people steps taken by its Government and we look forward to a Government that will respond with dialogue, instead of subterfuge and bullets to its people’s demands. We look forward to democracy and a better life for the workers of our state – whether through struggle or dialogue.

Mijanur Rehaman , Anuradha Talwar , Swapan Ganguly  and all other members of the State Committee
Date: 13 May 2011

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