In their hour of crisis of the Left Front in West Bengal, the critics of the Left who have distanced themselves from the party and the government have now started coming forward to express solidarity with the Left.
After Somnath Chatterjee has readily agreed to campaign for the CPI(M) candidates, veteran Communist intellectual Dr.Ashok Mitra came out in public today to express his support for the Left. He was joined by another Left intellectual Prabhat Patnaik.
Both of them were strong critic of the Left Front government's industrialisation policy and as the Buddhadev Bhattacharjee from 2001 onwards started actively wooing big industrial houses to bring investment in the state, both Mitra and Patnaik openly opposed the idea.
Now that the Left Front is facing a serious threat from the TMC-Congress combine in the present assembly election, the critics within the Left fold have decided to hold back their opposition for the time being and support the Left.
Burdened with age and failing health, Dr. Mitra was not making any public appearances off late. Though the meeting was arranged by a little known Left magazine 'Desh Kaal Bhavna', there was a packed auditorium in The University Institute in central Calcutta People, made of mostly former supporters and activists of the CPI (M),who came in number to hear him. Dr. Mitra reminded the audience that despite some pro-poor works done by the Left Front in the first decade of its rule, the momentum was lost midway.
Mincing no words about the performances of the Buddhadev Bhattacharjee government, he said that the Left lost its supporters in their eagerness to woo the big capital.
Prabhat Patnaik commented tersely that, "There are developments and developments. We should have guarded ourselves against the trap of the neo-liberal model of development. This kind of development, while creating wealth on one hand also gives rise to poverty at the other."