The ruling party, as usual, rebutted the former CM, asking what had they done for the development of the state in 34 years?
Bhattacharjee slams the current government
Bhattacharjee, who was giving his first TV interview after the 2011 assembly poll loss, slammed the TMC government's industry policy. He said it is impossible for the industrialists to buy land directly from the farmers in Bengal where land ownership is highly fragmented.
The CPI(M) leader said the industrialists would either have to go to the land mafia or sit back idle if the government refused to intervene. He said the colonial law of land should be changed and the government should be empowered more. Besides, the people concerned should also be convinced and given the right price and proper rehabilitation.
The former CM, however, defended his party's anti-land acquisition stand in other parts of the country. He said boosting real estate in land taken in the name of industry could not be supported and that's what they were opposing. "But that doesn't mean that we won't allow an IT firm to set up a special economic zone (SEZ)," he said. The Mamata Banerjee government had a problem with IT giant Infosys over granting the SEZ status.
Granting funds to clubs was an exception during the Left's rule?
Bhattcharjee also said the current government was being run like a club. He slammed the act of granting funds to local clubs, and said such acts were exception during the Left rule. But the fact is, it was not an exception then. Banerjee is doing it more because her organisation strength is not as powerful as the Left during the latter's heydays. Hence, charity is her way of boosting the local organisation.
Bhattacharjee's counter-attack on the Banerjee administration is understandable. The former CM, who had withdrawn himself initially after the loss, has slowly begun to come out in the open again and expressing his views against the establishment. May be the growing dissatisfaction with the current government's performance is reviving his hope to return to power in 2016. He also said that his party's support base in the rural areas was regaining strength.
None have any vision
Now the problem with Bengal's leaders is that none of them have any proper vision about the task in hand. There is no denying of the fact that the Banerjee government is struggling to keep things on track and its administrative naivete is clearly visible.
But at the same time, it can not be denied either that the same Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee, who has developed a polite voice since the humiliating loss in 2011, had cared little to practise what he is preaching today. Only desiring industrialisation in the state isn't enough and the previous Left Front government had done little homework to reach its goal for it was overconfident.
Today, Bhattacharjee is saying his government never looked down upon agriculture and farmers' interest but it was him who was heard saying during his chief ministership: "Chashar chhele ki chasha hobe?" (Will a farmer's son also be a farmer). It did not go well with a lot of people for they felt Bhattacharjee was desperately toeing the line of corporates and hence, mocking farmers.
Whatever Bhattacharjee is saying today, it is a political strategy-making than any ideological shift I. His party, which had ruined the state just because it could not get rid of an outdated ideology, is trying to come back to prominence. Many of his words uttered during the interview indicated that he is still not ready with a vision that demarcates between the public and private. Buddhadeb is banking on his words to attack the establishment, particularly ahead of the panchayat polls, for his party's once-invincible organisation is lying in a shambles today.
If the so-called elitist leadership is not out from its doubts even after being in power for a long time, then it is difficult to expect an administration led by non-elites to deliver in less than two years.
The fate of West Bengal is hanging by a thread.
(With inputs from Anandabazaar Patrika)