Calcutta, May 31: The Left Front considers its prospects in the June 3 municipal polls “bleak”, faced with “threats” by the Trinamul Congress, CPM insiders said.
The CPM insiders admit that they consider themselves “lucky” to have been able to put up candidates in almost all the seats in the six municipalities going to the polls.
Front leaders, including CPM state secretary Biman Bose, have said in private that the main reason behind such an apprehension was the ruling party’s “attacks” on Left workers, which have deterred them from campaigning properly, Left sources said.
“In the last Left Front meeting held three days ago, Bimanda and other Front leaders were of the opinion that it would be a difficult task facing the civic elections as Trinamul was threatening our cadres and supporters. Moreover, our organisational base has eroded a lot,’’ a CPM state secretariat member said today.
“So, despite the absence of any electoral alliance between Trinamul and the Congress, we don’t hope to gain much.’’
Now, the Left rules the Durgapur Municipal Corporation and the Haldia and Dhupguri municipalities. The Nalhati municipality is held by Trinamul while the Panskura municipality is run jointly by Trinamul and the Congress. The Congress runs the Cooper’s Camp civic body in Nadia.
The front leader said Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri could be the “only ray of hope’’ as Trinamul had so far “failed to put up an organisation fight against the Left” there.
Asked about the remaining civic bodies, RSP leader Monoj Bhattacharyya said the Left had a “difficult task” in hand, given the huge mandate Trinamul got in the Assembly polls and the manner in which it had created strongholds in most areas where the civic elections would be held. “We are being driven out of villages and towns by Trinamul. How can we face polls this way?’’
According to a CPM leader, the Left is “cowering under” Trinamul “threats’’ in East Midnapore’s Haldia and Panskura. He attributed this to Trinamul MP Subhendu Adhikari’s growing might in the district and his efforts to “decimate’’ the Left.
“Subhendu is too strong in his backyard. In the last civic polls, he ensured that Trinamul won in Panskura. The party also got the Congress’s support. It was because of him that Trinamul won the Haldia municipality as well for the first time. (Former CPM Haldia strongman) Lakshman Seth is behind bars. So, where does the Left stand a chance in these two places?’’ a CPM state committee member said.
The Left’s condition is similar in Cooper’s Camp, where the Congress’s Shankar Singh is holding fort, the CPM leader said. A state Congress leader said: “In Cooper’s Camp, the fight is between Shankar Singh and the local Trinamul led by railway minister Mukul Roy. The Left hardly has any chance of doing well there.’’
In Birbhum’s Nalhati, the Left is banking on how much the Congress can eat into Trinamul’s vote bank. “If Abhijit Mukherjee (Congress MLA and union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s son) succeeds in making inroads into Trinamul’s domain, the ruling party’s tally may decrease slightly,’’ a Front leader said.