Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (left) and Biman Bose at the Calcutta programme on Sunday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Calcutta, Aug. 31: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today ruled out the possibility of talks with Trinamul and called for a “face-to-face confrontation”, two days after Mamata Banerjee desisted from rejecting outright the possibility of “thinking” about a grand alliance that might include the CPM to take on the BJP.
“It was aired on a television channel that they want to initiate a dialogue with us. But there can be no dialogue with a party of anti-socials. Instead, we shall hit the streets and launch a face-to-face confrontation (mukhomukhi larai) with the party,” the CPM politburo member said at a party programme in Calcutta.
The former chief minister was referring to Mamata’s interview to the Bengali news channel 24 Ghanta on Friday.
In response to a question on the possibility of an alliance with the CPM, Mamata had cut short the interviewer and said: “I did not say that.” She had, however, added: “But if there is a proposal, we will think over it. We will discuss in the party… I don’t hate Leftists.”
Besides Bhattacharjee, politburo members Biman Bose and Sitaram Yechury have rejected any understanding with Trinamul.
The policy of confrontation advocated by Bhattacharjee today was floated by CPM state secretary Bose at a special state committee session in Alimuddin Street on August 27. A section of district leaders had questioned the timing and effectiveness of Bose’s suggestion of a “direct movement” against Trinamul when cadres were leaving the Left in droves and the leadership had “failed” to stand by them.
“Industry, law and order, education — the party (Trinamul) is responsible for the disaster in every field in Bengal. There can be no talks with them. We shall confront them in the field,” Bhattacharjee said at a programme to commemorate the deaths of those killed on this day during the food movement in 1959. Today’s programme was held at Pramode Dasgupta Bhavan, opposite the CPM state headquarters on Alimuddin Street.
Addressing the event, Bose iterated that the Left would organise an “all-out movement” against Trinamul.
He said none of the “grievances” the Left had aired during a meeting with Mamata at Nabanna on June 9 had been addressed. “That is why there cannot be any more talks with the ruling party, which does not believe in democracy,” Bose added.
The Trinamul leadership tonight strongly reacted to Bhattacharjee’s confrontation call.
“Buddhababu murdered democracy during his tenure as chief minister. How can he understand what Mamata Banerjee meant when she said nobody is untouchable in politics?” asked Trinamul secretary-general and minister Partha Chatterjee.