Will Bring Back Democracy, Says Surya Kant Mishra

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Kolkata: CPIM leader Surjya Kanta Mishra has said an “extraordinary and Emergency-like situation in West Bengal and the people’s desire” have forced his party to join hands with Congress to oust TMC from power but it has not been decided who will be the chief minister if the combine comes to power after the assembly election.

“We will cross the bridge when we come to it. We are not discussing this issue at all now. Our main fight is for restoration of democracy in the state,” Mishra said when asked who will be the chief minister if the combine comes to power.

On whether the two parties have formulated the common minimum programme, Mishra, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly replied in the negative.

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Defending his party’s electoral pact with Congress, whose many policies and programme it had opposed, Mishra, also a CPIM Politburo member, said, “It is an extraordinary situation. There is undeclared emergency in the state. It is mainly an attack on democracy and secular credentials that led to the formation of a broad platform of Left secular and democratic forces in the state.

“There is no hide and seek. I had given a call at a public meeting asking Congress to clear their stand on whether they are ready to oust this government or not. Our stand, as I said, is to oust TMC and save Bengal, oust BJP and save India.

“Subsequently WBPCC had taken a stand which we think is consistent with our stand. We want to ensure that the division of secular, democratic and Left votes do not help the TMC win”, Mishra, the CPIM State Secretary said.

Asked where is the guarantee that Congress will not go back to TMC’s side deserting the Left, he said, “Whatever we do is judged by the people. Any betrayal will not go unpunished by the people.

“The people wanted us to join hands. We have to respond to the desire of the people. That is what we are trying to do”, he said, adding, “It is the people’s front.”

On the impasse on certain seats with Congress, Mishra said, “Talks with all the parties are over. We have made our stand clear to everybody. I think barring four-five seats, candidates have been declared.”

On Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s sarcastic remark that they have formed a “rainbow alliance”, Mishra said, “She is nervous. It was TMC which had formed a rainbow coalition in the 2011 assembly election but none of those parties is with them now and all of them have approached us.”