Left Supporters In Bengal Look To Rightist BJP To Challenge Mamata

CPI-M supporters in West Bengal are gravitating towards BJP in the ongoing election to take on the might of Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, The Print said in an article on Monday.

From Cooch Behar to Siliguri, Malda to Asansol and Singur and Nandigram to Kolkata, locals looking to challenge the TMC see the BJP as their only option, putting a big question mark on the Left Front’s prospects in this Lok Sabha election, it said.

Political analysts, The Print spoke to, said that strengthening of the BJP’s influence in West Bengal is directly linked to the Left’s decline.

“There is a fight for the opposition space. The Left vacating that space has helped the BJP to make inroads and strengthen itself in the state,” said Professor Samantak Das of Jadavpur University.

Political activist Prasenjit Bose said: “In West Bengal, the Left vote is steadily shifting to the BJP,” he said.

The reality is that the CPI(M) neither has leaders nor the capacity to take on TMC,” said Saraswati Sangha, a Singur-based social worker. This rural hamlet in Hooghly district had captured attention in 2008 after Tata Motor was forced to shift its Nano plant from there to Sanand in Gujarat following Mamata’s prolonged pro-farmer agitation.

The event culminated with TMC’s dethroning the Left Front government after 34 years of rule in the State. Today, the Left is fighting an existential crisis.

“Why should I waste my vote on them (Left)?” Saraswati added. “I might not agree with the BJP’s philosophy completely but they are a strong party and the only one who can challenge TMC,” she said.

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