Kolkata: In poll-bound West Bengal, leaders of 16 Left parties and other Opposition parties met at the state headquarters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kolkata on November 22 as part of planning joint programmes in the run-up to the nationwide general strike call by 10 central trade unions on November 26.
In the press briefing after the meeting, Left Front chairman Biman Basu said joint movements are the way forward. Announcing the programmes for the next few days, he said there will be a series of rallies in Kolkata and neighbouring districts for the next three days in support of the strike. He also announced that agricultural workers will be hitting the roads on November 27 and observe a ‘grameen bandh’ on the same day. On November 26, Left Front workers along with farmers and trade union workers will take part in rallies led by trade unions.
The meeting, presided over by Basu, saw the participation CPI(M), CPI, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc, CPI (Marxist Leninist) Liberation, Bolshevik Party, Marxist Forward Bloc, Revolutionary CPI, Workers Party, Communist Revolutionary League of India and other parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Loktantrik Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Party of Democratic Socialism.
Basu also congratulated the Left-run Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad for the good work during its tenure and said that there was no mismanagement of funds unlike many others. He said the Left parties were geared up to face the Kolkata municipal polls, too, whenever these are declared and announced a host of programmes before the Assembly polls scheduled in 2021.
The 16-party alliance also decided on programmes on December 6 (when the Babri Mosque was demolished) as well s National Human Rights Day on December 10 and minority rights day on December 18. This is the first time that these programmes (apart from December 6) will be observed by Left parties of the state.
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Basu also clarified that even though some television discussions are being used to float names to lead the Left front-Congress alliance, such as of Congress leader (Adhir Choudhury ) “such discussions did not come up in the last two meetings ( of the alliance).
The LF chairman also highlighted that in 1967 and 1969, too, the party had aligned with a Congress offshoot party, but there was no projection of any name at that time.
‘Cornered TMC reaching out to Amit Shah’s son’
Commenting on the ruling Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) “unholy dalliances”, Basu alleged that, “a game of covert understanding is going on between BJP and TMC. After the recent Lala (coal mafia) and cow smuggling investigation, there have been reports of TMC bigwigs ‘hobnobbing’ with Jay Shah, the former BJP president’s (Amit Shah) son. This only means that the covert understanding between both these parties still exists. This is exactly why (former West Bengal CM) Jyoti Basu used to say that TMC’s main folly has been that it has brought BJP to Bengal.”