Rama Krishna Sangem
“TRS president and CM K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) should unite all opposition parties to fight BJP which represents fascist forces in the country,” said Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary of CPI (ML) Liberation. Bhattacharya says, a united opposition should include Congress. “The fight against Narendra Modi led BJP is on,” said the ML leader.
In an exclusive interview with Excel India at Taj Mahal Hotel, Narayanguda, in Hyderabad on November 22, Tuesday, Dipankar, 61, is optimistic about defeating BJP in 2024 general elections. “If we can contain BJP below 200 Lok Sabha seats, we can keep it out of power. Otherwise, BJP can come back to power with the help of others,” said Dipankar.
His Liberation group of CPI ML caught national attention by winning 12 MLAs in Bihar assembly in 2020 elections. Liberation group was founded in 1974 by late Vinod Mishra, a firm believer of late Charu Majumdar’s line of armed struggle in early 1970s. Later, Mishra modified his line and joined electoral politics. Dipankar succeeded as general secretary of Liberation group after Mishra’s demise in 1998.
Son of a railways employee, Dipankar was born in Assam but his mother tongue is Bengali. He obtained his MSc Statistics from Indian Institute of Statistics, Kolkata. First he worked in trade union movement and later associated himself with Indian People’s Front, backed by Mishra and another veteran ML leader Nagbhushan Patnaik in 1980s. Dipankar now is on an tour of India in the run up to his party national congress in Patna in February 2023.
Excerpts from the Interview:
What’s your view on KCR’s fight against BJP?
I welcome it. It is good that KCR is taking on BJP at the national level. He should unite all opposition parties in this fight. Of course, he should take along Congress in this (Liberation is in alliance with RJD and Congress in Bihar). Unless we launch a combined fight, it is not possible to defeat BJP at the national level. KCR may be able to defeat BJP in Telangana, but at the national level that’s not enough.
However, I want to know KCR’s stand on 3 things: 1. The nature of RSS which is trying to divide the country on communal lines. RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat’s comments like One Nation, One DNA are harmful to the nation. 2. The manner in which Modi government is misusing the central institutions and agencies. 3. The way Modi is promoting interests of big capitalists like Adani, Ambani etc.
What are the chances of BJP coming to power in 2024?
The fight is on to defeat BJP in 2024. The party which won massive majority in Bihar (39 out of the 40 MPs) may suffer reversal due to Nitish Kumar coming back to us. Same is the case with Jharkhand and some other states. What I heard is that they may suffer set backs in Himachal and Gujarat too. International situation of economic crisis and the impact of Ukraine war too will show on the weaknesses of Narendra Modi’s government.
Is our Left, including ML parties are alive to the changes in India since 1990s? Like emergence of technologies and social media and aspirations youth?
Of course, we are alive. But BJP which came to power in 2014 is trying to use this technology to perpetuate its political power and authoritarian grip. For example, they are using Aadhar to discriminate against minorities. They use election ID cards to delete some people from voters lists. We still have doubts over EVMs. This tech innovation is not reaching the common man.
We are not against to industrialization. We welcome industries. But, that should help us create more jobs for our local youth and benefit people. In the present situation where every capital – whether FDI or FII – is of global nature. So we cannot differentiate between national bourgeoisie and others.
What are the prospects of Liberation group spreading to other states?
We are trying to build our party across the country. We are getting response from people. Today, I met student leaders from University of Hyderabad. We will take up public issues and mobilize them. This is a gradual process and will definitely take time. Our base is strong in Bihar and some parts of Jharkhand and Bengal. We have chances of expanding to other areas too.