Advertisement
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
West Bengal

Who's Got Change?

The Left's biggest battle yet, but is Mamata & co up to the task?

Who's Got Change?
Sandipan Chatterjee
Who's Got Change?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Nandigram, along with Singur, has become a defining moment for Left politics in the state, a trigger for long pent-up anger among the people against the corrupt and arrogant party cadres. But catch the CPI(M) making even a token apology for the strong-arm tactics it used in 2007 in both places. Despite last year’s rout during the panchayat polls, the Left Front (LF) is on the offensive. And curiously, it’s the Ramayana the commissars keep quoting, not Das Kapital. "Don’t cross the Lakshman rekha, and vote for someone else," warns one, speaking at the Tamluk rally, "remember what happened to Sita...." But it doesn’t look like the warning will be heeded. Notwithstanding the strong show of Left unity at the rally, Tamluk looks ripe for change.

Tamluk is not an isolated instance of a revolt against the LF. Across southern Bengal, home to 30 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, the buzzword is "poriborton" or change. In at least 18 of these seats, the LF is engaged in a do-or-die battle. Likewise in eight of the 12 seats in north Bengal. Political observers say this isn’t the first time people have asked for change—it happened in 2001 too. But for one who saw the ’01 assembly polls, which this writer had covered, the change in mood is clear to see. Last year’s panchayat polls, when sections of south Bengal were breached, have given people the confidence that the LF can be confronted, and defeated. The LF, it seems, is no longer invincible.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Cases of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, have not yet been reported in India.

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Live: NZ Suffer Blow, India Sniff A Chance At Tea

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Live: NZ Suffer Blow, India Sniff A Chance At Tea

Day 5 of the first India vs New Zealand Test is tantalisingly poised. India need nine wickets and New Zealand 280 runs. Follow here live cricket scores and updates of IND vs NZ.

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

India has issued fresh travel restrictions for international travellers coming from 'at risk' nations in the wake of the Omicron outbreak across several countries in the world.

Advertisement