The CPI(M) leadership has said it would be wrong to conclude that Mamata's politics has no direction. "She has a method in her madness and has been using the administration to consolidate her minority vote-bank," said one of the CPI(M) sources. It is claimed that Mamata now has 28% share of the minority votes with her, a clear 2% better than what was before.
Moves like granting stipends to the imams or plans to bring minority reservation bills have strengthened Mamata's support base among the Urdu and Bengali-speaking Muslims, feels the CPI(M) leadership. For the later, these are calculative moves made by her, notwithstanding the Park Street rape case or the cartoon row, which made a section of the urban class turning cynical of her leadership. The CPI(M) feels Mamata has indeed revolutionised the minority politics in the state, something on the lines of UP and Bihar.
According to the report, the CPI(M) is worried over Mamata's administrative efforts to resolve the Darjeeling hill and Jangalmahal crisis. The CM does not want to forge an alliance with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in the Darjeeling hills for that could leave a negative impact on the people of the plains. At the same time, she is also aware that a personal rapport with the GJM will minimise confrontation and hence headache in the hills. In the Jangalmahal, Mamata is in an advantageous position for there is no vote-bank at stake as such. The Maoists, after all, are against casting ballots. So, Mamata can take a strong stance against the extremists in Jangalmahal and win sympathy among the urban middle class. The urban section sympathetic to the Maoists is yet a weak one to challenge Mamata's popularity, the analysis said.
The report added that the CPI(M) knows very well that it will have to wage a patient and determined war to regain its lost ground. The party will not be able to field candidates at many place during the upcoming panchayat polls, forget of winning elections, feel many CPI(M) supporters. The party, which was once known for its strong machinery, even lost to the TMC in many of the cooperative elections held recently in the state. The CPI(M) could not capitalise on the presidential candidate nomination or the recent Singur ruling issues against the TMC-led government.
"The 34-year-rule is our biggest weakness now. It will take time for the people to grow an anti-incumbency feeling against the new government. If we try to criticise it on any issue, questions will arise on what we had done on the same issue in the last three decades. We have no other option but to wait for our time to come," said a senior CPI(M) leader. The wait is definitely due, but for how long, nobody knows.
The only silver lining, feels the CPI(M) leadership, is the probable post-2014 poll scenario, said the newspaper analysis. The party will keep a close watch on the direction of the TMC-Congress relation, which is far from cordial at the moment. It will also pursue stands taken by dissenting leaders in the TMC and whether there is any cross-voting from the TMC in the upcoming presidential election.
The CPI(M) is thinking of making issues like development and industrialisation its main weapon against Mamata given she fails to chart out a definite course of action on these in the near future, the report said. "But again, the minority politics she is playing in a so planned way, could prove to be even more decisive," said a CPI(M) leader.