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Left upbeat, TMC chit-hit

Calcutta, Dec. 11: The Assembly brawl would be a “handy tool” to “expose the lawlessness” in Bengal under the Trinamul government, CPM leaders said today.

“What happened in the House today reflects the growing reign of terror unleashed by Trinamul,” CPM state secretariat member Mohammad Salim said this evening. “What happened inside the Assembly today is deplorable and is indicative of this trend.”

He said the Left “will be able to tell the people that if this can happen inside the Assembly, imagine what’s going on outside in different parts of the state. This will be a handy tool for us to campaign against the Trinamul government.’’

According to an Alimuddin Street insider, the CPM will discuss how to intensify the party’s campaign on this issue, as instructed by party state secretary Biman Bose, at a meeting of the state committee scheduled for next week.

“We have a two-day state committee meeting from December 17. We have been asked by the party leadership to work out how to make today’s Assembly incident known to people across the state in our campaigns for the panchayat polls due next year,” the party leader said.

A CPM leader said Trinamul had “not changed its spots”. “We saw what happened in November 2006 when Trinamul vandalised the Assembly,” the CPM leader said. “Today, we have seen a repeat of that hooliganism when they beat up our MLAs. It has come as a timely reminder to the people of the depth to which Trinamul can sink.”

He said that till today Mamata Banerjee had not condemned the 2006 incident. “When social activist Medha Patkar asked Mamata at a hunger strike in Esplanade whether she had condemned the 2006 Trinamul vandalism in the House, she replied in the negative. Her Trinamul hasn’t changed… and so hasn’t she,” the CPM MLA said.

Today, Mamata refrained from commenting on the Assembly brawl.

A Trinamul minister admitted that what happened today may give people the impression that Trinamul was close to people involved in chit funds. The Left wanted to move an adjournment motion today to discuss chit funds but it was disallowed. That triggered the first round of commotion in the House.

“We must try and dispel such an impression,” the minister said. “After today’s incident the CPM, too, will try and encash on this.”

In Parliament, the Left and Trinamul voted against FDI in multi-brand retail, but in Bengal the politics of confrontation will only be stepped up as the panchayat elections draw nearer. Today’s House ruckus seems to be a pointer to that.

“The animosity between the two parties will increase as the rural polls approach,” said a Trinamul source.

What’s likely to be bad for Trinamul is that the state Congress will find common cause with the Left.

Former state Congress chief Manas Bhunia today said: “After the Assembly incident, we are feeling insecure in the House and in the state.”