Tag Archives: CPI(M)

The Collapse of Hegemony: Kumar Rana

[This is a guest post by KUMAR RANA. Kumar Rana is an activist and works with Pratichi]

At last, after 32 years, history repeated itself in West Bengal. It’s the history of routing of a prolonged political hegemony established by the CPIM led Left Front that replaced in 1977 another prolonged reign of the Congress.  The Left Front is now reduced to 15 seats from its 2004 tally of 35. The Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee, who severed her ties with the NDA to form an alliance with the Congress has swept through the elections to multiply her parties tally by 19 – she was the sole representative of her party in 2004. She made two alliances – one with the Congress that has managed to restore its position by winning six seats, and the other with SUCI, which too has won the seat allotted to it. The BJP has also secured a seat mainly through its bargain with the Gorkha Janmukti Parishad that has been fighting for a separate state of Gorkhaland. In other words, the opposition parties have now secured 27 out of 42 seats – more than two third – in the state.

Not that the change was fully unanticipated. There have been indications in the pre-poll surveys and other discourses that the Left Front was going to loose – but only to some extent (18-19 seats). None, including the opposition parties, did expect such a result. This writer too estimated the opposition seats to be 23-24, and could not imagine that the phrase – era jak (let they be dumped) – could have so routing effect on the ruling front.. Indeed, it’s the people who build up their own phrases, and this time it was “era jak”.
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‘Our’ Violence Versus ‘Their’ Violence

The first three phases of the 200 Lok Sabha elections have passed off peacefully. When we say peacefully, we do not take into account the killings of poll officials and police personnel involved in election related work by the Maoists. The Maoists gave a poll boycott call in areas where they thought they are strong but were not heeded by the people. Even many tribals of Lalgadh in Bengal decided to risk their lives to exercise their hard earned right to vote defying the Maoist boycott call. Unable to convince the masses, the Maoists have resorted to the old strategy of ambushing poll parties and burning and demolishing of public properties to register their presence. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Bihar and Bengal have been witness to violence by armed groups of Maoists. Interestingly, we have not seen any statement by them owning up to these acts. Continue reading ‘Our’ Violence Versus ‘Their’ Violence