Fearing a substantial decline of vote share in the Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal’s Marxists have cast off their tattered cosmopolitan-liberal veil to reveal their true parochial selves. The CPM has, over the past two weeks, altered its campaign to project itself as a champion of Bengalis by vowing to prevent another ‘partition’ of Bengal. The allusion is to the demand for a separate state of ‘Gorkhaland’—never mind that the areas under this proposed state were never part of West Bengal. CPM leaders concede that their earlier strategy of criticising Mamata Banerjee for driving the Nano away from Bengal has not yielded the desired dividends, especially in rural areas. Also, the alliance between the Congress and Trinamool has consolidated anti-CPM votes. Unfortunately for the Marxists, most Bengalis have refused to get worked up over the ‘partition’ bogey.
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