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Mamata wants RSP, Forward Bloc in her kitty

May 19, 2009 13:09 IST

If a win cements differences, a loss widens them. That is evident from the Left Front's mood in West Bengal.

With the Lok Sabha poll results showing serious setbacks to the Front, some of the constituents have started coming out in the open about the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leadership.

Making things worse, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is reportedly  attempting to win over some disgruntled members (read Revolutionary Socialist Party-India and Forward Bloc) to her party to consolidate her party's position in the state.

In fact, Banerjee told her trusted aides during a meeting at her South Kolkata residence on Monday that she "would love to have the RSP and the Forward Bloc members within her party fold".

Murmurs of dissent in the Left Front which could barely be heard in the post-Singur, Nandigram days, have now assumed huge proportions.

Forward Bloc minister Pratim Chatterjee said, "It was CPI-M cadres' audacity which alienated them from the people. CPI-M cadres should give up their vindictive nature. It is high time the party told their cadres to behave themselves."

RSP minister Kshiti Goswami, a fierce  critic West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's policies, repeatedly expressed his angst to the local media over police firing in Nandigram in March 2007.

During a television show on May 16, the day of counting, Goswami brought up the issue again and analysed at length how the Nandigram factor tarnished the Front's image.

It should be mentioned here that immediately after CPI-M recaptured some areas in Nandigram, Goswami had said, ''The peace process initiated by CPI-M is one-sided,  undemocratic and without the consent of other Left Front partners.''

A large section of the Front, it is said, is also extremely unhappy with Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat's adamancy. They hold Karat's stand to withdraw support from the United Progressive Alliance government over the nuclear issue deal responsible for Front's dismal performance at the hustings.

In fact, it is said that West Bengal chief minister's Bhattacharjee's skipping the CPI-M politburo meeting on Monday only proves that he too, like many of his allies, has lost faith in the party's top leadership.

According to reports, Bhattacharjee even offered to put in his papers on Monday, but after a discussion with the CPI-M patriarch and former Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu in the evening, has promised to do a rethink.

Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata