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Friends in Delhi, enemies in Kolkata

Pradip Kumar Chakraborty in Kolkata | May 07, 2005 11:13 IST

Their friendship at the Centre notwithstanding, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress are out to prove that they are sworn political adversaries in West Bengal in the coming civic and assembly elections in the state.

Both sides say the camaraderie at the Centre would not stand in the way of a 'genuine' battle between them in the state.

The Congress' battle with the ruling Left Front in the coming elections to 70 municipalities in the state and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, seen as a dress rehearsal before next year's assembly elections, would be the first direct electoral fight between the two since the United Progressive Alliance government took office in New Delhi nearly a year ago.

Both parties, however, maintain the showdown in the state would not undermine their understanding at the Centre.

While Congress workers in West Bengal would be hard put to explain the bonhomie at the Centre with the Marxists and the political fight in the state, CPI-M with a massive network and well-oiled election machinery apparently will find the task a little easier.

At a recent meeting of CPI-M workers, party state secretary and politburo member Anil Biswas attacked the Congress saying "Congress' policies are similar to that of our class enemies."

Warning his partymen of Congress' attempt to gain in strength in West Bengal taking advantage of a split in the main opposition party Trinamool Congress, Biswas said this must be foiled at any cost.

According to state Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharjee, the breakaway faction of Mamata Banerjee's
Trinamool Congress in alliance with the Congress would give a tough fight to CPI-M-led Left Front in the Kolkata civic

"I don't think CPI-M's support to Congress at the Centre would be an electoral disadvantage for us in West Bengal," he said.

He gave Bihar's example, where party president Sonia Gandhi's had attacked the Rabri Devi-led Rashtriya Janata Dal government during campaigning.

RJD is a part of the Congress-led UPA.

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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Friends in Delhi, enemies in Kolkatta

The Leftists are not friends of the Congress in Delhi. They are "like" friends; do your remember the famous words of Julius Caesar, "Like friends ...

Posted by subbaraman

Sub: CPI-M's Double standard

These LEFT parties are known for their double standard. They support some one in center and oppose the same party in state. WHAT A PARTY!!! ...

Posted by Sammy

Sub: Same in the south

The situation is the same in the southern state of Kerala as well, they are friends in Delhi and enemies in Kochi. Regards, Sreejith Raja ...

Posted by Sreejith Raja


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