The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Basu lessons for feud front

Calcutta, May 16: Jyoti Basu, playing peacemaker between his party, the CPM, and its allies, today asked the partners to become more “emotionally involved” with the Left Front.

Having lent a hand to the CPM leaders in bringing the squabbling partners like the RSP and the Forward Bloc to the peace process, Basu said the constituents would do well to remember that the voter had sent the front, not any party, to office.

“The panchayat election will reconfirm the importance of the front. We as individual members cannot hope to work independent of the front,” said Basu. “We have to take our success in the election in the context of the Leftists’ need to keep the front going.

“It is a fact that front unity had suffered in some places. Still, people overwhelmingly voted for us. We have to realise from the mandate that they did not vote for a single party, but for the front,” the patriarch said while addressing a meeting organised by the state CPM leadership to condole the death of Sudhansu Dasgupta, a party theoretician.

Basu’s observations came when two front partners, the CPM and the RSP, met at the office of the superintendent of police in South 24-Parganas to pave the way for activists of both parties to return home. About 1,000 RSP supporters had to abandon their homes in Canning and Basanti in South 24-Parganas because of the alleged “terror unleashed by the CPM”. The talks between the parties was arranged in the backdrop of simmering tension in pockets of the district.

Basu had taken the initiative at a front meeting yesterday and urged the chief minister to initiate immediate measures to end the violence.

Addressing the condolence meeting, Basu said the partners will have to educate the newly-elected panchayat functionaries about popular expectations. “We have to teach them how to maintain accounts, how to organise meetings and so many other issues to help them serve the people better,” Basu said.

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