29 September, 2020

It's Still A Red Bastion

The Congress may improve its poll performance but is unlikely to deny the CPI(M) another term

It's Still A Red Bastion

IT should have been an easy ride for the Left Front in West Bengal with the Congress and the BharatiyaJanata Party still wrangling over the hawala scam revelations. But barely six weeks prior to the elections, the CPI(M)—the Front's mainstay—seems to have been caught up with the political rigours of being in power for 19 years.

Taking notice of it, the CPI(M) has effected a spring-cleaning of sorts in the party, as is evident from the nomination lists both for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections. For instance, 67 party MLAs have not been renominated for the assembly polls—including ministers Prasanta Sur, Achintya Roy and Patit Paban Pathak and articulate legislators like Santasree Chatterjee and Lakshmi Dey. Says an observer: "One way or another, there was some controversy about these people and questions had been raised about their image." Also dropped from the list was Jyoti Basu's nephew and MP, Amal Datta, and another MP, Saifuddin Chowdhury.

The exclusion of Chowdhury has been controversial—there are murmurs in the party that younger...



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