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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Blend of youth and experience CPI(M)'s mantra for winning back people's confidence in Bengal

The CPI(M) has fielded three leaders of its students' wing SFI - Srijan Bhattacharyya, Pratikur Rahaman from Diamond Harbour and Dipsita Dhar from the Serampore Lok Sabha seat

PTI Calcutta Published 15.04.24, 01:02 PM
CPI(M) candidate Srijan Bhattacharyya interacts with a rickshaw driver as he campaigns for the Lok Sabha elections, in Calcutta, Saturday, March 30, 2024.

CPI(M) candidate Srijan Bhattacharyya interacts with a rickshaw driver as he campaigns for the Lok Sabha elections, in Calcutta, Saturday, March 30, 2024. PTI

Like they say that the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, the CPI(M) also feels that from zero at present, out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, it has the opportunity to rise again, beating the baggage of the past in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Having fielded a number of young and new candidates in West Bengal, the CPI(M) is expecting a revival of its fortunes in the state with a blend of youth and experience.

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The CPI(M) has fielded three leaders of its students' wing SFI - Srijan Bhattacharyya, Pratikur Rahaman from Diamond Harbour and Dipsita Dhar from the Serampore Lok Sabha seat.

"It's a perfect blend of agility of the youth and experience of the seniors," CPI(M)'s Jadavpur candidate Srijan Bhattacharyya told PTI, echoing the voice of the party's leaders.

He claimed that the response of the people is good.

The Left party has fielded three leaders of its students' wing SFI - Bhattacharyya, Pratikur Rahaman from Diamond Harbour and Dipsita Dhar from the Serampore Lok Sabha seat.

The CPI(M) is contesting the elections as part of the Left Front and also in alliance with the Congress.

Apart from three former MPs Sujan Chakraborty, Mohammed Salim and Alokesh Das, the CPI(M) has fielded all new candidates, of whom several are young, a party official said.

PTI

CPI(M) central committee member and candidate from Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat Sujan Chakraborty said that culture of the communist movement is that of a mix of new and old, taking along experience and freshness of the youth together.

Stating that the Leftists have "always gone with the policy of encouraging young blood" in the party hierarchy, he said that leaders like Subhas Chakraborty, Anil Biswas and Shyamal Chakraborty were brought to the forefront during the Jyoti Basu era.

The CPI(M) has, however, faced criticism of having gone into a shell after the 2011 defeat in the West Bengal assembly polls and not being able to attract the youth.

The party, with renewed vigour, has been espousing new leadership to revive the party for some time.

Asked whether the CPI(M) is going by a long-term plan to bring the red flag back to reckoning in the state, he said, "It is obviously imperative to be far-sighted." But that the immediate goal of winning some seats in these elections to make the party's presence felt is also important was evident from fielding of old war horses like Mohammed Salim and Sujan Chakraborty.

CPI(M) state secretary and politburo member Salim is fighting from Murshidabad seat.

Asserting that the CPI(M)-led Left Front will emerge victorious in some seats in Bengal this election after having returned empty-handed in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he told PTI, "People are now able to understand that the binary of the TMC and BJP is destroying the state." He claimed that the vote share of the BJP and the TMC would decrease, leading to an increase in the percentage of votes for the Left and its ally Congress.

The CPI(M)'s vote share in 2019 was around 6.34 per cent, while the TMC and the BJP bagged over 43 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

Rahaman, fielded by the CPI(M) to take on TMC's Abhishek Banerjee in Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, is no less upbeat than his SFI mate Srijan Bhattacharya.

Rahaman said that he is thankful to the party leadership for giving him a bigger canvas.

"Yes, it is a larger world. Till now I used to deal with student matters, now I am getting to be part of the people's issues," he told PTI.

Claiming that industries have left Bengal under the TMC rule leading to a flight of jobs to other states, the young leader lamented, "The booming auto hub in Sanand could well have been in Singur had the Tata Nano factory not gone to Gujarat." The Tatas had moved its factory to Sanand from Singur in West Bengal's Hooghly district in 2008, following an anti-farmland acquisition movement led by the then opposition leader Mamata Banerjee.

The parties opposed to the Left Front have held the hardline Leftist trade unionism as a reason for the flight of industries from Bengal, which boasted of being one of the richest among the states till the 1960s.

Among the main issues of the Left party in this election is the creation of job opportunities in the state.

Asked whether the young Turks of the CPI(M) were looking to set their goals in a long-term perspective, he (Rahaman) said, "It is true we do not have seats, but we are making planned progress." Along with Bhattacharya and Rahaman, CPI(M)'s Serampore nominee Dipsita Dhar is also a functionary of the SFI at the national level.

Stating that the CPI(M) has been trying to regain mass support by bringing in new faces in the last few elections, political analyst Subhomay Maitra said that in some seats their candidates have been able to catch the attention of the people.

"It is a welcome decision," he said, maintaining that their clean image is something that can be capitalised on by the party.

Of the 30 constituencies being contested by the Left Front in Bengal, big brother CPI(M) is fighting in 23 seats.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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