When polls to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly were announced in February, almost all political analysts felt the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) will have a walk over. A second term seemed certain and Mamata Banerjee would continue at the Writers Building, the seat of the government in capital Kolkata. Despite Saradha Chit Fund scam and the worsening law and order situation, TMC was poised to win comfortably.
The main opposition CPI(M) after the drub it received in 2011 assembly elections and the 2014 Loksabha elections were trying to fix the organisational crisis it encountered after last year’s party organisational election. Surjya Kant Mishra, the doctor turned politician, who was made the state secretary was working hard to revitalise the party. But it was not moving the way, the party would have wanted.
When every thing was going smoothly, two things put Mamata and her party on the back foot. As election campaign was gaining momentum, people were shocked to see several key leaders of TMC were seen accepting bribes from as a journalist posing a businessman seeking favours for his fictitious firm.
As the tremors rocked every nook and corner of the state, an under construction fly over came crashing down killing atlases 21 people. The collapse exposed the callousness of the Mamata government. But fingers were soon pointed at TMC leaders who had supplied inferior building materials to the firm tasked with constructing the fly over.
Now, Surjya Kanta Mishra, in this interview says the narada exposé vindicated his parties stand on the government. As the month long polls concluded Thursday, Misra exudes confidence that the Left parties will come back to power in West Bengal winning over 200 seats.
“Thousands of crores of rupees had been looted in the Saradha Chit Fund scam. We had demanded a debate in the assembly, on this issue. Our two MLAs were beaten by TMC MLAs inside the assembly. Debolina Hembram and Gouranga Chatterjee were seriously injured in the ruckus in the assembly,” Mishra said. He also said that his party representatives had met the Prime Minister to ask for a probe into the issue.
“After the Narada tapes were released, people started saying that they are accepting the bribe. People were able to see it on video. That vindicated our campaign,” Mishra added.
Mishra also alleged that BJP is not committed in its campaign against Mamata’s corrupt government. He says BJP is a party which is equally corrupt and cites the example of former Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa to substantiate his allegations. The disgraced leader has been made the chief of the Karnataka unit by the BJP recently.
He also accused prime minister Narendra Modi of rhetoric even after two years in power. “Who takes the responsibility of central agencies to unearth larger conspiracy?” asks Mishra.
Mishra said that BJP will not be able to disturb the communal harmony in West Bengal. “I remember the day on which Indira Gandhi was killed. Anti-Sikh riots had broken out in the national capital after that. But there were no such incidents in Kolkata as they did not get any public support here,” Mishra said.
Mishra also accuses Trinamool Congress of playing the communal card. “Ruling party of the state is also supporting communal polarisation which helps the other camp, the BJP,” he said.
” BJP always try to highlight the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration. But who is guarding the border? It is the duty of the central government to safeguard the border and protect the country,” Mishra added.
Illegal immigration from Bangladesh is not as prevalent as it was earlier, primarily because that country has a better human development index nowadays, he said.
” Illegal migration happened from Bangladesh earlier as the communal forces were creating chaos there. But the secular forces are better mobilized now to defend.
The communal forces and terrorists driven out from Bangladesh are creating trouble in some regions of Bengal with the support of the ruling party and their allies. They were behind the Khagragarh blast case in Burdwan,” alleged Mishra.
An explosion in Khagragarh of West Bengal’s Burdwan district killed two people on October 2, 2014. The incident received huge attention because of allegations that a Bangladeshi militant organisation was linked to the blast and that it had political patronage.
While the majoritarian communalism raised by BJP is more dangerous, the minority appeasement of TMC poses an equal threat to the communal harmony, according to Mishra.
“These terrorists who were members of an organization called Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, had planned and implemented around 500 bomb explosions at 300 locations in Bangladesh. Both the PM and opposition leader of Bangladesh are there in their target list,” Mishra said.
“The prime minister did not do anything in Khagragarh blast case. What did National Investigating Agency (NIA) do in the case? Most of the evidence were destroyed with the help of the government and police officials,” Mishra alleged.
“The then superintendent of Police of Burdwan district said it was crackers which caused the explosions. He is the same police officer who is figuring in the Narada sting videos,” Mishra said referring to MH Ahmed Mirza, a senior IPS officer of West Bengal. In the Narada sting video, Mirza he is seen flaunting his influence with top TMC leaders before accepting five lakhs to introduce them to the representative of the fictitious firm.