Left, right and wrong

It was Mamata Banerjee who had proposed the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi, a former governor of Bengal, as the Opposition candidate for the office of vice-president. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi readily accepted it and so did many others. There was some uncertainty whether the Left, that is the CPM which has a running feud with the West Bengal Chief Minister, would accept it. During the penultimate stage of his tenure, Gandhi incurred the displeasure of the Left, especially the CPM. In the event, the CPM has found its way to supporting a Trinamool-sponsored candidate. The CPM has realized, it would seem, that now is the time for all secular forces to join hands and put up a united front against the forces of intolerance, hatred and bigotry.
As the presidential and vice-presidential contests are going to be an ideological fight, who wins or who loses is not important. The only uncertainty that persists is about the Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader NItish Kumar. He has supported the BJP candidate for the office of the President. What stand will Nitish take on the common Opposition candidate for the Vice-President’s post?  Will he stand by or break ranks with the Opposition? Whatever he ultimately chooses to do, his recent manoeuvring has already dented his image as a politician who placed principle above power politics. He will have to make up his mind now and take a decision. He cannot hunt with the hound and run with the hare.
For the Left the decision to support Gopal Krishna Gandhi is a mature one. Its visceral antipathy for Mamata and its unhappiness with Gandhi for showing his revulsion at the violence unleashed by the LF Government when it was in power, often led to the CPM taking positions which objectively helped the Right. Realism, it seems, has won over gut feeling. If the Bengal brigade of the CPM still continues to harp on the theme that the ‘so-called’ fight between the TMC and the BJP is all a ‘made-up show’ for public consumption and goes on playing the broken record of “Didibhai-Modibhai` it will only further discredit itself. The Left has to join hands with all the forces including centrist forces that are fighting the Right. Only then will it prove that the Left is right. The CPM once committed a ‘Himalayan blunder’ by scuttling a move to make Jyoti Basu Prime Minister. Let it not commit another blunder to prove that at all crucial moments the Left is wrong.

Friday, 14 July, 2017