- The buzz in Bengal is ‘change’. The Nandigram effect has spread far.
- The Left is fighting with its back to the wall in erstwhile strongholds.
- Muslims with 27 per cent vote share and traditional supporters of the Left have turned against them.
- Reversals in the panchayat polls last year proved that the Communists are not invincible. This has emboldened parties like the Trinamool Congress.
- Marxists privately admit the party is paying for its cadre’s excesses and corruption at the panchayat level.
- The Left may contain the damage because of organisational strength.
***It’s blisteringly hot in Nandakumar, on the northern edge of the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency. But the CPI(M)’s Lakshman Seth—fighting the electoral battle of his life—thunders on: "Lakshman was wounded fatally, but he didn’t die. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) hasn’t read its Ramayana." Running for a fourth term...