Is The Strange And Unholy Nexus Of The Congress And Left Front A Hoax?

Is The Strange And Unholy Nexus Of The Congress And Left Front A Hoax?

The entire alliance of Congress and the Left can never be attributed as a healthy and trustable one

Ranjan Das GuptaUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 11:37 PM IST
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In the late 1950s, the then West Bengal chief minister, B C Roy, had stated that once the Left comes to power their original face will be exposed. He was criticised by the undivided CPI for sternly putting an end to the Khadya Andolan of 1959. Today seven decades later his statement stands true as the country witnesses a strange and unholy nexus of the Congress and Left Front in West Bengal and Tripura for the elections. In Kerala both are against each other.

True, to support the INDIA bloc, Congress and CPM have come together along with many other parties like Trinamool , RJD, AAP, Shiv Sena, NCP, JMM and SP. They also have DMK as their partner. In West Bengal it was Pradesh Congress President, Adhir Chowdhury who did not allow an alliance between Trinamool and Congress. Instead he opted for an alliance with the Left Front. In Tripura earlier Congress and CPM were pitted against each other. After the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government was overthrown by BJP, the two Opposition parties have united.

The very much asked question is, are the ideologies of Congress and CPM the same? It does not require much study to state that their manifestos are poles apart. Congress believes in a bourgeois democratic system and the Left is diametrically opposite with a socialist agenda. They derived their inspiration from the Soviet socialists and ever since Independence have opposed the Congress. After Rajiv Gandhi’s demise in 1991, there has never been an absolute majority for Congress. The Left supported Congress and put many unwanted pressures on it which were not welcomed by the Congress.

To keep the government running, Congress was forced to digest many diktats of the Left Front. This was prevalent especially from 2004. After the Left withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh led government in 2008, the differences between the two blocs was noticed throughout the nation. Both parties came together in West Bengal against the Trinamool-led government from 2014 ever since the Hawala and Narada scams were out in public.

This however did not deal a severe blow to Trinamool which kept on increasing its strength with public support in both national and assembly elections. In the 2019 elections a lot of Left Front votes shifted to BJP which won 18 out of the 42 Parliament seats. The Left Front’s vote share was reduced to a mere 7% from its existing 27%. In the 2021 assembly elections both were not able to secure any seats in the West Bengal assembly and BJP took over as the main opposition.

Why do Congress and CPM show an alliance which is not at all a true picture of either’s ideologies? The CPM earlier dismissed Rabindranath Tagore as a bourgeois poet, Swami Vivekananda as a nomad and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as a pet of Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. Now it is really making people laugh that the same Leftists are celebrating Netaji’s birthday, Rabindra Jayanti and are even allying with the Congress. One has not forgotten the slang language with which they attacked Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi earlier.

The Red Terror of West Bengal created by the Left from the 90s to 2010 still gives sleepless nights to countless Bengali inhabitants. It is true that certain West Bengal Congress leaders in the 80s and 90s gave indirect support to the Left Front government in West Bengal and even tried to sabotage Mamata Banerjee’s rebellion with a cause against the Left Front. Frustrated, Mamata Banerjee quit the Congress and formed Trinamool Congress.

The entire alliance of Congress and the Left can never be attributed as a healthy and trustable one. It is well known that at the first instance, the Left will stab Congress in the back. It is the cunning plan of the Left to win power and then show its true colours. Agreed, now to prevent the autocratic NDA from coming to power all non-communal parties should come together. But to trust the Left fully is a blunder for any other political party.

Congress has severely criticised the Left and vice versa — the Left has ripped Congress apart before the just-concluded Kerala parliament elections. It does not provide a healthy picture nationwide, when in other states both are campaigning together against the BJP. The Left knows well that it can never have a national majority. The exception is Tamil Nadu where both have successfully united with DMK and are enjoying a healthy rapport to run the government.

The Congress is the only national alternative to BJP. Of course other regional parties can lend support to it to form a strong coalition government at the centre if the INDIA bloc wins the present elections. A proper study shows that except West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala, the Left Front has never had any significant presence in any other state. For the benefit of India and to save our constitution, Congress has a vital role to play far more important than CPM or any other regional party.

Ranjan Das Gupta is a senior Kolkata-based journalist who writes about health care, education, arts and culture

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