Bangalore, April 12: They planned something, the outcome was something else. CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat had perhaps thought that the beleaguered Left in West Bengal had found a great opportunity in the death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta to corner the Trinamool Congress (TMC) but what happened in Delhi on Tuesday did little to impress the Left leadership as a whole. Instead, the Bengal CPI(M) leadership is terribly upset with Tuesday's attack on Mamata Banerjee and her ministers in Delhi and has informed Karat about its displeasure.
According to a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika, CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose rang up Karat from Alimuddin Street, the party headquarters in Kolkata, and told the latter that the state leadership was very upset that it was not consulted before staging the protest against Mamata Banerjee in Delhi.
Both Bose and former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee rued that through this ugly protest and manhandling of the state ministers, the CPI(M) gave a self-goal and would have to pay the cost. The Left Front has been struggling to regain a grip in the state politics after it was toppled from power by the TMC two years ago.
The problem is the central and the state leaderships of the CPI(M) have a serious difference of opinion over how to tackle the Mamata Banerjee government. While the central leadership believes that the Left should take a militant stand vis-a-vis the government in West Bengal as it is doing in Kerala, the state leadership thinks otherwise.
According to the latter, if the Left takes an aggressive stand on Banerjee's government after losing power after 34 years, the message will be clear that it has become impatient and hence retaliating. The consequence will be disastrous for the party in the state politics. The situation in Kerala and Bengal are totally different, felt the Bengal Left leadership.
Delhi's incident and the consequent backlash found in the state proved that the Bengal leadership's apprehension was not baseless.
The Delhi wing of the CPI(M) led by Puspendra Grewal, a man known to be close to Karat, however felt that the assault on Banerjee was right for through this incident, the would work work like a booster. It has criticised the state leadership for tendering an apology.
Theinvolvement of two Bengali leaders Ritabrata Bandyopadhyay and Satarup Ghosh in the Delhi agitation has complicated the dispute further. While Alumiddin said the Delhi wing was responsible for engaging them in the ugly protest, SFI's all-India General Secretary Bandyopadhyay said his outfit never led the protest on Tuesday and some other Left organisation was in control.
He was clearly trying to save his back although TV footage clearly showed that he was giving slogan standing just behind state finance minister Amit Mitra, while he was being manhandled by the protesters.
The Delhi wing rubbished Bandyopadhyay's claim, saying the SFI had announced after the death of Gupta that it would protest against Banerjee wherever she would go. Sources in Delhi CPI(M) said the SFI in Delhi is currently in a weak condition and Tuesday's agitation and hence the party had to back the protest to make it stronger.
But whoever is at fault, there is no denying that Karat's political line of thinking has frustrated the Bengal leadership, the most potent wing of the communist force in India, quite a few times.
The decision to pull out of the Centre on the Indo-US nuclear deal or expelling veteran leader Somnath Mukherjee did not go down well with the state leadership and the latest episode would be another addition to the unhappy story.
The communist ideologues of this country have remained confined in the ivory-tower while those connected to the ground reality have suffered. The strategy to attack Mamata Banerjee shows the terrible state of political maturity that the communists possess. The latest debacle in Delhi will add another nail in the coffin of a political tribe which is fast disappearing in the country. Not many will complain though.