Amidst whispers in the corridors to halt the Mamata Government by Centre and cloud of Central Bureau of Investigation on Bengal ministers, senior TMC leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Roy took time out to speak his heart out to Just-in-Print
JIP : (a) The people of West Bengal has given huge support to the CPM government since 1977 and they have been by and large happy and satisfied. Then they switched allegiance to TMC and gave it huge support and continues to support it hugely even today. So when people are happy and there appears to be economic progress, why does the BJP have so many grouses and claim unhappiness amongst people ?
(b) Why is the CM so reserved with Media and why doesn’t she open up to the media and take its help in implementing her policies ?
SR : CPM has been exploiting people for all these 34 years and have been ruling by false propaganda. Neither congress nor BJP could play the role of opposition effectively at all. It is only when Mamata came and took over the leadership did people get confidence that there can be proper representation of their grievances. That is when people came out in the open and switched their support to TMC.
JIP : So has TMC succeeded in satisfying peoples wishes ?
SR : Yes it has. One of the many changes that Mamata has brought is to emphasize on the rural economy. During CPM rule, about 65000 small and medium industrial units were shut down. Now that large a number cannot be revived or replaced overnight or even in a short while. So the focus needed to shift to agriculture – which has always been Bengal’s economic main stay in any case. So, fair remuneration to farmers and other similar agenda has been our top priority and that has started changing Bengal’s fortunes. Meanwhile, industrial performance has also started improving.
JIP : Has this taken Bengal out of the slump of 34 years or so of CPM rule ?
SR : Of course it has. Bengal is rising like the phoenix out of the ashes. But, unfortunately, this is being felt first by the common people. Mamata is the champion of the downtrodden and the common people and that’s why all her programmes are for their benefit. This is affecting the elitists and the crony capitalists. They are therefore indulging in conspiracies against us in conjunction with a section of the media and opportunistic political parties like congress and bjp – who could not make any headway or any progress during all these years. So, now that Mamata is pushing Bengal to be part of the advanced states in India, these forces are conspiring against us to destabilise a stable and fast improving economic situation through political shenanigans.
JIP : will they succeed ?
SR : historically, conspiracies have never succeeded. This too shall fail.
JIP : But BJP is now marching forward in all the states in India.
SR : Congress and BJP are two sides of the same coin. Their game is to frustrate demands of democratically elected governments and destabilise economic status through poor politics.
JIP : Now, returning to the question of why your party and Mamata avoids media …
SR : Without naming any media house in Bengal, it must be said that while journalists report occurrences correctly, senior management and the ownership at media houses, working in nexus with crony capitalists, control the stories and way it is published and they oppose us. So, we are wary.
JIP : under these circumstances, how do you see your & TMC’s role in Parliament ?
SR : As a people’s party, TMC will always support pro-people policies and fight tooth and nail against any anti-people policy.
Although the scenario is increasingly looking more and more gloomy for the TMC, Sukhendu-Da looked more confident than the situation perhaps calls for, flanked on either side of the sofa that he was sitting, in the drawing room of his sarkari bunglow, by prominent pictures of Netaji and Rabindranath Tagore on the wall.
[ As told to Soumitro Bose / Mukesh Kumar Sinha]