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Delhi spies a ray of hope

New Delhi, Jan. 9: Senior CPM leaders today marched in Delhi and demonstrated outside Banga Bhawan to protest violence in Bengal, some spotting stirrings of an earlier-than-expected turnaround.

The latent optimism could be gauged in the speeches and slogans of the leaders as they lashed out against the Mamata Banerjee government, accusing it of “rape of democracy”.

“Across the state, people are getting disillusioned with this government…. Slowly, the masses are coming out to join our protest.… Not only the Left, but also the Congress, is being attacked,” central committee member Nilotpal Basu said.

His colleague Hannan Mollah cited the example of Mahasweta Devi and said intellectuals who had favoured a change were now terming the government “fascist”.

“The Mamata Banerjee government has turned into a government of goons…. The chief minister is acting on the advice of goons,” Hannan Mollah said.

Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said not only the Left, but also democratic institutions were under attack. He spoke of a countrywide agitation against the “assault on democracy”.

CPM sources said an internal assessment had shown that chances of a Left revival in Bengal were bright because of the “failures” of the Trinamul government.

“Violence in the Assembly and the attacks on Abdur Rezzak Mollah and our supporters have recharged our cadres. Now we have to keep up the momentum. Only then can we hope for positive results in the panchayat polls this year,” a senior leader said.

Central CPM leaders who not long ago sounded pessimistic have now set their sights on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But they are modest in their expectations from the panchayat polls.