The Trinamool Congress is making politics a "non-serious affair", said Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, the Left Front backed CPI-M candidate from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, which goes to the poll on Sunday.
Bhattacharya (68), the former Mayor of Kolkata and one of the most high-profile candidates put up by the Left, also expressed his disgust with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for addressing only "petty personal issues during their campaigns" instead of raising basic fundamental issues such as unemployment and remunerative price for farmers' produce which are integral to the commoners' daily lives.
The ace lawyer also felt that Trinamool and the BJP wanted to "keep the fight between themselves" and "make a fool of people".
Bhattacharya regretted that the constituency's incumbent Trinamool MP Sugata Bose, a Harvard University professor, had opted out of the fray, and held the Trinamool Congress responsible for his decision.
"Sugata Bose was a very competent man. The presence of a person of his stature makes the Parliament colourful and more credible. I believe he has opted out gracefully because he did not really subscribe to the way the Trinamool functions. With Bose calling it quits, the party's present viewpoint is to make politics a non-serious affair," Bhattacharya said, adding that the Trinamool didn't want politics "to be the field for the highly-educated, cultured and serious people who are not criminals".
"Compare the candidates of the BJP and the Trinamool and you will find that their list is dominated by criminals, corrupt and non-serious people. Both these parties want these people to get elected so that nobody can raise their voice against their leaders," the CPI-M candidate said.
Bhattacharya, who is fighting inside and outside the court against the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting case, also took on Trinamool leaders for "not being willing to face investigation".
Taking a jibe at the Mamata-Modi duo, Bhattacharya, who is fighting is maiden Lok Sabha battle, said: "Neither Mamata nor Modiji has addressed the basic issues. They are only addressing petty personal issues."
He also alleged that both the BJP and the Trinamool were "born in the womb of the RSS" whose philosophy of anti-communism and religion-based politics were "seriously pursued by the Trinamool".
"The RSS described Banerjee as its Durga. This is not just casual saying. She is following the dictation of the RSS. She has introduced religion in Bengal politics for the first time, which has created a lot of space for the BJP in the state," he said.
When asked why should people vote for the Left parties, Bhattacharya said, "This is a question manufactured by the media. I would like to pose a counter question. Let people say which of the welfare benefits they have been enjoying could have been possible without the Left parties' intervention.
"Setting aside all the religious issues, the Left parties are fighting for the farmers, industrial workers, poor and under privileged people demanding minimum wages, employment and remunerative prices for the peasants. The Left is the conscience of the country and its victory will keep the conscience of the Constitution alive."
Refuting that Bengal is witnessing religious polarisation, he said: "I don't think of voters in terms of their religion. For a kisan (peasant), whether he is a Muslim or a Hindu, the problem is remunerative price. Sections of people who always want to keep others away from basic issues affecting daily lives harp on issues like religion".
Interestingly, a section of intellectuals in the state has appealed to the people to vote for Bhattacharya. "I can feel positive indication from cross sections of people. I think they should also reflect their opinions in the ballot box," Bhattacharya said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)