Desperate times breed desperate measures. In the remote villages on the banks of the Meghna, which flows through West Bengal’s Nadia district, a political tie-up of immense significance has taken place. To outsiders, it almost defies logic, and is certainly more incredible than the unlikeliest of unions between traditional foes—like, say, the one between Bihar’s Laloo Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. The region’s local leaders from the CPI(M) and the BJP have joined hands to fight the upcoming panchayat elections against the ruling Trinamool Congress.
“Yes, BJP and CPI(M) have come together here to fight the Trinamool,” confirms a BJP candidate from nearby Karimpur, who is contesting the rural polls for a panchayat committee seat. “The CPI(M) has not fielded its candidate from this seat, just as we will not put up contestants where it has.”