Wednesday, December 23, 2009


THE process of political cohabitation between disparate forces to forge the `grand alliance' in West Bengal is coming out in the open. And it is a truly sordid story of systematic targeted killing and bloodbath. Many in the corporate media can hardly conceal their glee over the electoral reverses that the Left has come to suffer in its bastion. While many of these sections who highlight the commissions and omissions of the Left Front government and the weaknesses of the CPI (M), maintain a studied silence on the nature of the comprehensive anti-Left project that is clearly being played out in West Bengal. It is in this context that there is a genuine need to understand and comprehend the various strands of this overarching convergence of various forces and processes which is at work to successfully meet the central direction of this project – that of seriously undermining and dislodging the Left in West Bengal.

Since the late sixties the growth of the Left movement and the CPI (M) has faced severe attacks from the ruling classes. The premature removal of the United Front from office twice in the late sixties by the imposition of the president's rule with blatant abuse of Article 356 is part of the political history, which was primarily aimed to thwart the rising tide of the movement of the workers and peasants. The most significant development during that phase of politics of the state was the unprecedented mobilisation of the landless, marginal and small peasants for land rights. The big land owning elements opposed the United Front government's thrust to identify ceiling surplus land, its vesting and redistribution among the rural poor. The popular struggle to ensure such a direction of the government was spearheaded by the CPI (M) during those troubled times. What is important to note is the decidedly rightist character of the platform, which was forged to oppose the Left and dubbed efforts to ensure agrarian reform as one, which caused ‘law and order’ problem and provoked anarchy.

But it was also clear that such a blatant rightwing thrust of the opposition to check the rising tide of the militant peasant movement was proving to be futile. It is in that context that the ultra-Left movement surfaced in the tiny hamlet of Naxalbari in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Later on, as a sequel to the essentially agrarian nature of the protest, it degenerated into largely armed activities of urban groups of youth and students. That these activities were almost exclusively directed against the CPI (M) and the Left was a foregone conclusion given the experience of the ultra Left anywhere in the world. It was also in the background of such a course of development that the 9th Congress of the CPI (M) noted, “…petty-bourgeois adventurism must degenerate into an anti-working class, anti-revolutionary line and its inevitable destiny was to serve the interests of the ruling classes”. Finally, the movement that started with pronouncement of ushering in a `revolutionary transformation' got completely hijacked by the Congress and paved the way for the period of semi-fascist terror of the seventies.


For the last thirty years since the Left Front government has been in office in West Bengal, the Naxalite movement has generally faded into oblivion. The reasons were obvious. What proved decisive in the isolation of the Naxalites was the successful and widespread land reform that was led by the organised Left. This process got statutory backing when the Left Front government came to power. So the combination of socio-economic development, political and ideological interventions by the CPI (M) and the organised Left led to the situation that prevailed in West Bengal during the last three decades.

The reappearance of the sporadic actions of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and the CPI (ML)-(People's War Group) in the beginning of this decade were however not based on any sustained work of the ultra Left in the largely tribal dominated areas of West Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia -loosely referred to as the Jangalmahal. These activities, which again were mostly limited to carrying out ‘hit and run’ armed attacks against the CPI (M) killing its cadre. These activities were carried out with their bases in Jharkhand, which had a long border with these districts. Subsequent to the formation of the CPI (Maoist) these forays increased. But what has really ensured the scaling up of the Maoist activities and violence with CPI (M) as its principal target has been the open support that they have come to enjoy from the Trinamul Congress.

The Trinamul Congress suffered a major electoral drubbing in the 2006 assembly elections. Apart from the positive support of the people to the policies of the Left Front government a major instrumental factor in the electoral outcome was the TMC's association with the BJP which by the time had come to face increasing political isolation following the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. In fact the Left movement in the country based on the strength of the support it enjoyed of the people of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura against the communal-fascist politics of the saffron brigade and its aggressive neo-liberal promotion of the ‘Shining India’ paradigm contributed largely to the BJP's electoral predicament. The 2006 assembly elections were also an endorsement of the people to the Left Front's call for setting up new industries.

It had become apparent to the Indian ruling classes and particularly to the most die-hard political opponents of the Left -epitomised by the Trinamul Congress -that the Left in West Bengal cannot be undermined by the traditional rightwing platform, which had been repeatedly attempted and failed in the past. Therefore, the need for an image makeover and refashioning the formal thrust of the opposition platform was initiated. The Trinamul Congress rallied some of the fringe Naxalite groups and the SUCI around it on the question of opposition to use of agricultural land per se for setting up industry and infrastructure.

It is this background, which saw many disparate forces coming together for their own reasons to undermine the Left Front government. The CPI (M)'s opposition to the pro-US imperialist shift in our foreign policy provided great impetus to both the forces of imperialism and the domestic ruling elite who preferred such a shift to engage more actively to lend support to this political project of launching a fresh political offensive. These sections were oblivious of the Left wing pretensions and avowed defence of the rights of small and marginal farmers who had come to overwhelmingly own agricultural land in the state. Incidentally, during the Left Front tenure an unprecedented 84 per cent of the cultivable land in the state was under the ownership of the small and marginal farmers. These advocates of neo-liberal globalisation had no confusion about the real nature of the Left sounding verbiage that the Trinamul Congress and its voluble supremo Mamata Banerjee were spitting. They knew right away that the pathological hatred that the Trinamul Congress harboured towards the CPI (M) and the Left can hardly result in anything but ultimately secure the most favourable atmosphere for the Right once the Left could be undermined.

Since the developments in Nandigram, this sinister nexus was becoming increasingly apparent. The methods, which were employed in Nandigram, pointed towards the involvement of political forces, which were unlike the traditional anti-Left forces. The digging up of roads, the blowing up of bridges and the targeted killing of the CPI (M) activists in Nandigram created that situation where the entire area was out of bounds for the administration much before the unfortunate police firing of March 14, 2007. Later on, the Maoists themselves have revealed details about their involvement in Nandigram. In fact, a document of the West Bengal-Jharkhand Committee of the Maoists had pointed out that there is a growing opportunity for them to unite with different anti-Left political forces and forge an ‘all-in unity’ against the CPI (M) which according to them was a `social fascist' force. It is important to note that as is wont with the ultra Left, they did not find it necessary to elaborate economic, social or political factors leading to such a characterisation. The type of ammunitions that were unearthed, the eyewitness accounts of training given to the Trinamul led Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee, the umbrella organization which spearheaded the Nandigram agitation were tell tale signs of Maoist presence. Of course, subsequently, it did not require any formal investigation to establish such a connection. The Maoist leaders themselves, notably Koteswar Rao, alias Kishanji has made that explicit. Claiming the support that the Maoists had provided to the Trinamul in Nandigram they urged a quid pro quo from Mamata Banerjee vis-a-vis Lalgarh and Jangalmahal. That the Maoists were there and continue to have operational contacts is clear from the manner in which Nishikanta Mondal -the Pradhan of Sonachura gram panchayat – the epicentre of the Nandigram agitation was eliminated by the Maoists. Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamul Congress leadership had tried to shift the onus of the assassination of Mondal on the CPI (M). The Maoists came out with a strong rebuttal claiming responsibility for the murder. The Maoists further claimed that elimination of Mondal was the result of his attempt to shrug off the Maoists.

The Maoists have actually rubbished Mamata's claim. In a report published by the Telegraph on November 27, 2009, (which by no means can be faulted for its Left sympathies!)

A statement purportedly by Selim, head of the Maoists’ Nandigram zonal committee, said: “You (Mamata) had said at a rally at Sonachura recently that it was the CPM who brought us to Nandigram in 2007 and provided us with safe passage to flee. You know it was a lie.”

Selim invited the railway minister to an open debate at Sonachura. “If you believe what you said in your speech was a fact, please come to Sonachura and we will prove who is right, you or us.”

The statement also criticized Mamata’s proposal for engaging the army in Lalgarh.

It said: “We appointed Narayan to lead the Nandigram movement against CPM cadres. Trinamul MP Subhendu Adhikary knows how many times Narayan visited Nandigram and how he worked among the people of the area.

“You had delivered a speech from a place in Sonachura after the death of Nishikanta Mandal, the local (Trinamul) gram panchayat Pradhan. It was the same place where Adhikary had shared a stage with Narayan and our state committee member Sukumar to address the people of Nandigram.”

The Maoist leader explained why Mandal was killed by his men: “After Trinamul achieved political success in Nandigram, it wanted to drive us out of the area. Mandal was planning to hand over Narayan to police. He had to pay for his betrayal. We are still active in Nandigram and we will be there in future.”

The Lalgarh episode was sparked off following police actions in the area in the wake of a mine blast which was intended to kill the West Bengal chief minister on 2 November 2008, when he was returning from a programme in Salboni to inaugurate a steel plant. Incidentally there was no agitation on land acquisition in the proposed site of the plant neither was any SEZ proposal involved. The so-called People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) which had been created in the wake of the attempted assassination was not interested in anything else but disallowing the entry of the state administration and the police personnel into the area. Subsequently, it became clear that they were acting as the front of the Maoists demanding withdrawal of cases against the Maoist squad leader Sasadhar Mahato who had carried out the assassination attempt on the West Bengal chief minister.


The link between the PCAPA and the Trinamul Congress was also clear from the very beginning. The PCAPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato, Sasadhar’s brother, had been a former Trinamul Congress local leader. Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other Trinamul leaders had also attended events organised by the PCAPA in Lalgarh during this phase though these areas were otherwise out of bounds of the administration. Now even the home minister has admitted in the Rajya Sabha (on 2 December) that the PCAPA is “only a front organization to the CPI (Maoist)”.

In February 2009, Mamata Banerjee and other leaders of the Trinamul Congress attended political events of the PCAPA in Kantapahari the Maoist stronghold. The Trinamul Congress refused to accept that the committee was a Maoist front and did their level best to legitimise them as a genuine mouthpiece for `spontaneous unrest' of tribals who were `suffering under the 32 years of Left Front misrule'. The Trinamul Congress has spared no efforts to oppose the joint operation of central and state police in Lalgarh and adjoining areas and call for the withdrawal of those forces. Mamata Banerjee in her inimical style had claimed time and again that the assassination attempt of the chief minister was `stage managed' by the CPI (M) and Maoist presence in Lalgarh and Jangalmahal is a figment of the CPI (M)'s imagination.

But as and how the Maoist involvement in Lalgarh became impossible to deny, the task became all the more onerous given the overall stand of the central government on the Maoist question highlighted by the prime minister's observation `Maoist violence is the single largest threat to the country's internal security'. Meanwhile, the Maoist leadership was also making it impossible for Trinamul and Mamata to deny the complicity. Kishanji on 4 October 2009 clearly stated that Mamata was their preferred choice for becoming the next chief minister of the state. Of course, the Maoist leader Kishanji justified that with weird argument that Mamata being an all important individual with the sole proprietorship of her party – could be manipulated in favour of the people and insulated from the overall ruling class policy framework. The Maoists are real dreamers! They can bring themselves to ignore the fact that Trinamul Congress is a part of the central government which pursues a pro-imperialist neo-liberal policy. But on the other hand Kisanji's claims to Ananda Bazar Patrika- the spearhead of the media offensive against the Left-underlines the danger that democracy and the people face from such an obnoxious combination.

Undeterred by the failure of Trinamul and Mamata to call off the joint operation, Maoists have time and again repeated their pleas – at times even assuming a cajoling tone to pursue their goal. The Trinamul Congress of course has repeated its opposition to the joint operation and Trinamul leaders not only at the grass root level but also central ministers and other leading functionaries have visited Lalgarh to provide with specific assurances for operational support. The infiltration of Trinamul ranks by Maoist elements is a fact which has been confirmed by security experts and also substantiated by official intelligence received by both the central and the state governments.

Instances of Trinamul-Maoist nexus are almost unlimited. But the most explicit of these was played out around the siege of Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express near Jhargram. That the siege was the handiwork of the Maoists was apparent from the very outset given the demands of those who perpetrated this crime. Neatly scribbled demand for the release of Chatradhar Mahato who had admitted that he was appointed the spokesman for the PCAPA by the Maoist operatives was a clear proof of the Maoist involvement. In fact the Maoists have given call for bandhs in the area demanding his release. But the railway minister refused to accept the truth and tried initially to blame it on the CPI (M). Later, the railway FIR did not even mention the Maoists.

The unsatiable thirst for power has landed the Trinamul Congress and its supremo in the company of all kinds of forces who are inimical to the interests of the people, democracy and development. This has happened in the past as well. Otherwise, how can one forget the ganging up with the BJP-- from the very day the Trinamul was born. Today, it seems that notwithstanding the broad political consensus in the country over the disastrous course that the Maoists have embarked upon – the Trinamul Congress and its leader is acting as if they are in siege. This sinister political course has to be defeated. Peace, democracy and people's welfare face an unprecedented challenge in West Bengal. It is a challenge, which does not only affect the Left. For all patriots and well-meaning people it calls for action. The central government also has a responsibility. The lessons of the Bhindranwale phenomenon cannot be lost on us.

Source: http://leftgovtwb.blogspot.com/


In a recent public announcement Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee has proclaimed that her ministry is ready to start up the ‘world’s biggest coach factory’ at the abandoned Tata Motors site in Singur “if the state government gives us the land”. As soon as she became Railways Minister for the second time following her most conspicuous success in the 2009 parliamentary polls, she has taken up numerous ‘new’ programmes, floated several ‘innovative’ proposals and started introducing various ‘development’ works. From the typical ‘Kalpataru’ syndrome, which has affected many Indian politicians time and again, she, is right on her track publicizing ‘big plans’ for Bengal on a regular basis through trusty media bulletins. From the bouncing Railways Minister’s continuous announcements of innumerable Bengal initiatives, it seems that the Bengal voters have at last voted a leader who is capable of satisfying their unfulfilled wishes – just like the mythological wish-fulfilling tree, which came out during churning of the ocean. Her railway strategists are doing a commendable job to link her ministerial offerings with the Trinamool party agenda. But the people of Bengal need to be cautioned about one thing. Desiring something from the ‘Kalpataru’ could turn dangerous in the long run because, according to the myth, the tree fulfills all wishes regardless of good or bad outcomes.


Within a short period of time, Mamata Banerjee has launched many ‘new’ trains, ‘new’ stations, ‘new’ railway line extensions, ‘new’ railway connections, ‘new’ computerized reservation offices through a nonstop inauguration extravaganza and bombarded project after project. To accrue advantageous publicity and score political points over her bête noire CPI (M), she has flagged off old trains in new names, introducing new trains by taking out coaches from existing trains and re-laying foundation stones of old projects which were inaugurated long back. Recently she had laid the foundation stone of the New Jubilee Bridge over river Hooghly in North 24-Parganas, and renamed it as ‘Maitreyee’ bridge. The farcical part is, during her first tenure in 2001 she had laid a foundation stone of this same bridge!

Keeping track on all her Bengal centric projects and promises is not going to be an easy task. Her railway budget has proposed the takeover of the wagon units of Burn Standard and Braithwaite. Both units under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and both are based in Bengal. From the 375 ‘ideal’ stations that her budget has promised to create all over the country, 216 stations are in Bengal alone! Assuring the commuters that the progress of this project will be ‘personally’ monitored by her, she had declared to sanction “Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for each of these stations”. In presence of representatives from national auto majors, she has inaugurated an automobile logistics hub at Shalimar which will “provide employment to scores of local men and women” and has also chosen Singur for the Rs 3 crore perishable cargo storage unit under the "Kisan Vision" scheme where “Singur’s farmers can store their excess products at this unit free of cost”! It is highly interesting to note the locations of her bombastic projects – most of them are carefully chosen on the merit of their political significance.

Her budget proposal also include the Rs 900 crore project of a new coach factory at the Kanchrapara-Halishahar railway complex in North 24-Parganas, a component factory at Dankuni in Hooghly district, and a high-speed bogie casting unit at Majherhat, South 24-Parganas. Though the same Mamata Banerjee and her party is fervently opposing a power plant at Burdwan district’s Katwa in the pretext of ‘forceful land acquisition’ by the state government, she found no problem to propose a 1000MW power plant at Purulia’s Adra in her budget as it will “create jobs for local tribals” and bring “the tribal people into the mainstream”. Though critics have pointed out that the Railways have to acquire additional land if they truly want to set up the proposed power plant in Adra since they do not possess the full amount of land required for the project.

There are other Bengal projects in her kitty such as extending the Metro rail network to Dakshineswar, Barrackpore and Barasat, connecting Kolkata by a ‘ring-railway network’, and laying new rail lines at Canning, Bakkhali and Nandigram. Her ministry is also thinking to set up new coach factories in Burdwan, Nadia and other Bengal districts. She has also announced that the Railways have planned several industrial projects in the state that would generate ‘employment for lakhs’ and has expressed her desire to revive the jute industry in the state. “There are many closed jute mills in and around Kanchrapara. The jute industry will be revived and there are other plans as well” she has assured. To pour honey into people’s ear she has proclaimed, “Many more industries will be coming up and there is no need for you to leave Bengal.” It occurs awesomely bizarre when we recall that it was this same industry friendly and ‘changed’ Mamata Banerjee who had forced Tata Motors a year ago to shift the Nano plant from Bengal to Gujarat’s Sanand by spearheading the Singur siege.

The myopic Railways Minister has also reached a new low by refusing to invite the state government at her inaugural ceremonies. Relishing her act of disregarding democratic protocols as a fitting response to the ‘high and mighty’ Left Front government, one of the client scribes has gone to the extent of declaring that, “her individual acceptability with the people of the State is more than what the Left Front as a whole”. A highly pretentious statement follows: “the Union Railway Minister has appeared as a titan in State politics” in front of pygmies “like Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Biman Bose and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee”. (
Source) Her Railways functions have also been converted into TMC party events where invitees are categorically selected according to their loyalty. Mamata Banerjee really gets a sadistic pleasure by publicly ignoring the State government. Over the years, she has induced a new kind of political hatred into the polity, which has greatly assisted to lumpenize Bengal’s political culture.


The talented Railways Minister has also indicated that she does not want to stay restricted into the conventional Railways Minister’s cocoon. In fact, she has attempted to put forward a unique idea; that it requires only one minister to gratify almost every requisite of the voters. Surrounded by film stars and the intellectual glitterati of Kolkata during the flagging off ceremony of the Tollygunge-Garia Bazaar Metro Railway extension, she had announced to set up a 75-bed hospital near Tollygunge in Kolkata, and promised to upgrade the existing South Eastern Railway Hospital into a well-equipped medical college. In the “next two-three years” she had proposed to set up more hospitals, schools, cold storages, flyovers, museums, theatre complexes, stadiums and what not? Her ministry has sanctioned Rs 17 crore for a stadium at Bongaon in North 24 Parganas. “If we get land from the state government” she had said while offering to construct another stadium at Canning in South 24-Parganas and bragged that “we can construct it in seven days”! Scrapping off a similar sports complex project in neighboring Howrah which was approved by the former Railways Minister Nitish Kumar during the NDA regime, the Eastern Railway will now spend Rs 57 crore to build an ‘world class’ indoor stadium to Behala, a part of the Railways Minister’s South Calcutta constituency because she simply “does not seem to be interested” in the Howrah project. Instead she has sanctioned Rs.3.5 crore for an amphitheatre there to “develop it as a platform for cultural interaction” and “to nurture cultural activities in our state”. Naming the amphitheatre after theatre personality Sambhu Mitra, she had appointed Sambhu Mitras’s daughter Shaoli Mitra as the chairperson of the advisory committee. Shaoli Mitra is one of her client intellectuals who were in the forefront of Nandigram-Singur agitation demanding a political ‘change’ in Bengal. Mitra also chairs the newly formed Heritage and Cultural Committee of the Railways and draws Rs. 50,000 per month of public money as allowance along with other perks. Many of the Bengali intellectuals considered close to her were also rewarded with plum posts in various Railways committees.


During her budget speech, Mamata Banerjee had also offered to take over the state-run printing press Basumati Corporation Ltd, a 128-year-old historic publishing house associated with the freedom movement. The corporation is presently a sick unit with an accumulated loss of Rs 100 crore. Mamata Banerjee’s announcement in the Parliament that “if the state government agrees, we will take over Basumati and modernize it” was promptly welcomed by the Bengal government as a “very good proposal” and had generated huge hope among the 200 doomed Basumati employees. The jubilant Bengali media also created a lot of hype around the proposal. But the lofty offer turned into a damp squib and subsequently ended the hope of the employees when the Railway Board wrote to the state government that it will take over the PSU but ‘would not accept the liabilities’. Mamata Banerjee’s Basumati flop show is a premonition of what is really going to happen with her Singur proposal.


From the day Mamata Banerjee and her friends has forced the Tata’s to leave Singur; the humiliated Bengal government is keenly trying to bring in new investors to ensure industry in the abandoned land. After negotiations with the Chinese automobile manufacturing company First Automobile Works (FAW) failed to materialize, the state government opted for the central government PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) to set up a power plant. Keeping a careful watch on the developments “whether BHEL is really coming” and calling the state government’s initiative a joke, Mamata Banerjee was quick to float her counter proposal of setting up a railway coach factory on the same day the BHEL officials has visited Singur to assess the site. Informing the media that her proposal has already received the blessing of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, she went on further to disclose that the affectionate Finance Minister “told me to go ahead”. After all, who can dare to oppose a vital Union Minister’s “dreams regarding Singur”? Keeping in mind the present political clout, it would have been a real surprise if the central government PSU had agreed to go ahead with the project on this ‘dream’ site. Inevitably, BHEL refused to go ahead with the project on ‘technical, commercial and environmental grounds’.

To a certain extent Mamata Banerjee was taken aback when the Bengal government agreed to her proposal. The state chief secretary’s announcement before the media that “The state government, in-principle, is agreeable to hand over the entire land at Singur to the Railways for setting up a coach manufacturing factory” caused panic among the TMC think-tank. Receiving instructions from the above, familiar Trinamool face Partha Chaterjee has to plunge in with the musty old demand of returning ‘400 acres’ of land (This figure is a blatant TMC lie. The actual figure is 254.36 acres, where the owners have either refused to accept compensation from the state government or unable to claim the compensation due to legal problems) to the unwilling landowners. Accordingly the Railway Board chairman wrote back to the Bengal government echoing the TMC line that “The railways want to set up a world-class coach factory in Singur on the entire land (600 acres) after returning 400 acres to the unwilling farmers/landowners.” (Emphasis added)

There are enough reasons to be skeptical about the proposal. Mamata Banerjee and her band of cohorts are not so stupid to recognize the fact that once acquired for public purpose, no land can be returned to the original owners until the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 is amended. She knows very well that it will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to keep her promise and return the so-called ‘400 acres’ to the unwilling farmers after removing the legal obstacles. In addition to legal problems, it is also impossible to fish out and rescue 600 acres for the coach factory as the disputed lands are scattered in the form of small plots all over the site. They are definitely not stupid but wicked to the core. Their aim is only to recur into the same vicious politics that they had played with Singur just a year ago. For her own interest, the deceitful Railways Minister wants to keep Singur as a labyrinth where the destiny of numerous ordinary people will be captivated.

While answering the question about how the so called 400 acres could be returned, a stupid TMC source has revealed the true intention: “In all probability, the entire rail coach factory project will start rolling post 2011, when we come to power.” This comment shows the sly cunning face of Mamata Banerjee’s Singur initiative. It is neither the coach factory, nor the future of Singur but ‘coming to power’ that is important. This vicious political game will never encourage industry in Singur but simply evoke utter hopelessness and despair.


Mamata Banerjee propagandists embedded with the media are asking: why she is blamed for being blatantly partial to her State when she has initiated national projects like spreading the Railways network in Kashmir, launched ladies Special EMU trains connecting metro cities with suburbs and has introduced trains like the Izzat – intended for the poorest of the poor, and the Duronto – India’s ‘fastest’ non-stop trains? Applying Railways Minister’s status for pushing forward the party agenda has been made an established norm in this country by all her predecessors. There is nothing wrong if she is doing the same. To defend Mamata Banerjee’s biased Bengal initiatives, the client scribes has premeditated an aggressive attack on the Marxists, blaming them for deriding “various development works of the railways”. The Railways Minister herself has provided them the tip: “The CPI (M) is constantly conspiring against the railways. If any accident takes place in the railways, they CPI (M) will be solely responsible for that”. Haunted by the CPI (M) specter, the client scribes are cautiously trying to obscure the dark truth. Mamata Banerjee actually cares a damn for the development of the Railways infrastructure throughout India. Her interest on the few national projects is only because they have the potential to generate wide publicity in the national media. Her real interest lies in making the most of the Railways infrastructure projects to mesmerize the Bengal voters for the next one and half years till the 2011 Bengal assembly polls. The ‘privileged’ voters in return will pave her way towards supremacy and make her the Chief Minister. It will also ensure a long-term reverie of the anti-left spin doctors – to end the CPI (M) rule in Bengal.

Who is going to finance the hogwash list of Railways Minister’s ‘inventive’ proposals? Obviously it is the Finance Ministry under Pranab Mukherjee. The Finance Minister has sanctioned Rs 15,800 crore budgetary supports (Rs 5,000 crore more than the Rs 10,800 crore promised in the Interim Budget for 2009-10) for the Indian Railways and has also exempted transport of goods by Indian Railways from service tax. This abrupt exemption is startling when transport of goods in railway containers were already under the service tax net from 2008 and in July this year the Finance Ministry had further proposed to extend the levy of service tax. Pranab Mukherjee’s fishy U-turn again indicates a desperate political ploy. To dislodge the CPI (M) in Bengal, it is a joint venture between the present patriarch of the Bengal Pradesh Congress and the TMC chieftain, under the watchful eyes of the enigmatic Sonia Gandhi. The farsighted Congress president appears to be confident about the return of the prodigal daughter as well as the state of Bengal into her fold.

Our friendly neighborhood Railways Minister is notoriously greedy for power and authority. The parliamentary poll results and its subsequent ambiance have made her so overconfident on winning the 2011 assembly polls that she has valued the Railways Minister job only as a booster for her approaching encounter with the Marxists. By assimilating a five-year agenda into one and half year, she wants to exploit her ministerial position and reap maximum advantage from it. Therefore, it has become relatively easy for her to go on ‘gifting’ an endless list of unrealizable projects and promises regardless of any responsibilities about the consequences. On this matter, her conscience is as clean as a white piece of paper. Munawer Tehseem, the Railways Minister’s complaisant media manager from the ministry has recently boasted about how the dynamic minister has “fulfilled 70% of the promises she made in her budget speech in 56 days”. (
Source) Unfortunately, the word ‘promise’ has lost its significance long back – particularly if connected with a special brand of Indian politicians turned ministers.

Like the other deceitful and reactionary politicians of this country, Mamata Banerjee is also cut from the same piece of cloth. Hence it is difficult to digest the ongoing cant that she has ‘changed’. How much the myopic vision and short time objectives will help the Railways Minister to grab political power in Bengal will be manifested in the near future. But one thing is for sure. If her cunningly plotted political gamesmanship succeeds, then Bengal will change; but possibly for the worst.

Source: http://wordsfromsolitude.blogspot.com/