Mamata Banerjee should send a big bouquet of red roses to Komrade Karat because it is to him and his arrogant intransigence that she owes the 19+ Lok Sabha seats that she has won yesterday.
The Communist Party of Bengal ( and Kerala and Tripura, if you please ) came to power in 1977 and has since been stuck leach-like to this state. While its intial entry was on the basis of certain ideologies, its uninterrupted continuance has been because of (a) its proprietary process of scientific rigging, that I explained in an earlier post and (b) its skillful division of the anti-left vote between the Congress and its offshoot, the Trinamool Congress. This second policy was perpetuated first by supporting the Congress at the centre and second by planting watermelons" in the Congress party in the state -- watermelons being fruits that are are green, the Congress colour, on the outside and RED at heart ! Trapped between the distant machinations in Delhi and the activities of saboteurs in Calcutta, the Congress in Bengal had neither the will, nor the wherewithal to take on the Communists in the state.
The Trinamool Congress is a child of this impotent frustration and for the past twenty years it has waged a relentless campaign to oust the Communists from this state -- with little effect. While the Communists never commanded a majority share of the popular vote, the first past the post system of India's election ensured that they always secured a comfortable majority of the legislative seats because the split in the anti-left vote between the hapless ( and hamstrung) Congress and the belligerent Trinamool.
And so it would have continued for the next 30 years had it not been for Komrade Karat !
Karat ( and his cohorts ) have never won an election -- other than at student unions in JNU -- but they are photogenic, articulate and can speak good English. The media -- particularly the TV media, with which he has family connections -- glorify him and his utterances to the extent that he believes that he and his glamorous communists are the real communists in this country -- not because they have won elections but because they oppose US "imperialism" and act as paid agents of China. He has no time to think about the the bumbling Bengal communists, who can murder opponents with ease but run for their life from TV cameras and their English speaking reporters.
He has bigger things to think about -- the Nuclear Deal.
And to prove his point, he kicked Manmohan Singh in the face when this erudite gentleman went ahead with the deal. And that was the undoing of the Communists !
When the Congress got the kick in the Centre, it had no further interest in being polite at the state. Thirty years of pent up frustration in the Bengal Congress translated into an easy alliance with the Trinamool and an immediate consolidation of the anti-Left vote -- and the result is there to read in today's papers.
Many political analysts and even the communists would say that Mamata Banerjee won because of her opposition to the acquisition of agricultural land for industrial development -- but those who know Bengal know better. On the issue of land, she would have won in pockets of south Bengal but the necessary and sufficient condition for the large scale decimation of the communists -- they have been wiped out from 10 of the 19 districts of the state -- has been the consolidation of the anti-Left vote caused by Karat's kick to Manmohan.
That is why Mamata should send the roses.