The Left Front, headed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), might be singing praises of the qualities of head and heart of the joint Opposition candidate for vice-president, Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
But not too long ago, it wanted him ousted from the West Bengal governor’s post at any cost. It is Kolkata’s worst-kept secret that when the Left Front was in power in 2009, it wanted to see the last of Gandhi after he criticised the state government on the continuing post-poll violence in the state. Left Front chairman and CPI-M state secretary at the time, Biman Bose, accused Gandhi of being biased towards the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Dismissing the allegation as baseless, Gandhi shot off letters to Bose and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. CPI-M’s Rajya Sabha and central committee member, Shyamal Chakrabarty, said Gandhi had made such statements repeatedly. “A governor appointed by the Union government comes for a term of five years and we want a friendly farewell for him,” said Chakrabarty.
Mamata Banerjee, who was railway minister at the time, said: “We want him (Gandhi) to stay back in Bengal and continue as governor. The more the CPI-M maligns him, the more they will be isolated from the people.” This time, the CPI-M and the TMC rang up Gandhi one after the other to inform him that he had become the joint candidate for vice-presidentship.