CPM-led Left Front to launch mass contact drive in West Bengal aiming to regain ground ahead of 2018 panchayat polls

Kolkata: In a bid to regain its lost political ground in West Bengal ahead of next year's crucial panchayat polls, the CPM-led Left Front is set to launch a 15-day, mass contact programme across the state from Sunday.

The Left parties along with its outfits under the banner of Bengal Platform for Mass Organisations (BPMO) will hit the streets, agitating against the policies of the state and the central government.

The programme which will start from Sunday and will continue till 3 November.

CPM-led Left Front to launch mass contact drive in West Bengal aiming to regain ground ahead of 2018 panchayat polls

Representational image. Reuters

CPM leader and convenor of BPMO, Shyamal Chakraborty said the target is to reach out to 77,000 booths spread across West Bengal.

"If the state government prevents us from carrying our movement, then our workers will resist such attempts. Rallies, public meetings will be held in every nook and corner of the state," Chakraborty said.

Although the Left parties have launched such mass contact programmes in the last few years, it has failed to yield favourable results as the Left's vote share, which has been on the decline for the last decade, did not show any signs of improvement.

"This BPMO programme should not be mingled with other political programmes we had launched earlier. With BJP's increasing footprint in Bengal, we feel this is our opportunity to launch an agitation against both BJP and TMC," a senior CPM state secretariat member told PTI.

Several top Left leaders said the emergence of BJP and the saffron brigade in the state has been a matter of concern for the Left Front.

"The rise of communal forces is not only a matter of concern but also a threat to the state's secular credentials. We will try to reach out to the masses and revive our grass root organisation in order to counter the growth of RSS and the BJP in Bengal," a senior Left leader said.

The CPM state secretariat member exuded confidence that if the Left manages to put up a good fight in the rural polls, it has a chance of doing well in the next Lok Sabha elections, too.

According to Naren Chatterjee, state secretary of Forward Bloc, which is a partner of the Left Front, the public response to the BPMO rallies will help the Front gauge its existing mass base in rural Bengal.

"In Bengal, panchayat polls are of utmost importance. In 2008, our decline started through rural polls when we lost East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas to TMC. The results of the polls, directly and indirectly will affect the fortunes in Lok Sabha elections," another CPM state committee leader pointed out.

Meanwhile, the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state said the planned rallies of the Left Front will be a "flop show".

"The people of the state has already rejected CPM and the Left. The people of the state have faith only in Mamata Banerjee. Their rally will turn into a flop show," TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh termed the Left and CPM in Bengal as a "spent force", and said only the saffron party could fight against the "misrule" of TMC in the state.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Oct 22, 2017 10:28:05 IST

Also See