Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 4
Keeping in view the impending assembly elections in Bihar for which process has started, and the subsequent state polls in West Bengal and Kerala, Central Trade Unions (CTUs) will jointly up the ante against the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.
This includes an “aggressive” national general strike on November 26 after the poll results in Bihar.
As many as 10 unions mainly associated with the Left parties—INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC – will take part in the strike.
The campaign of the unions will be supported by the Left parties, including CPI(M) and the CPI.
The campaign will be mainly against alleged anti-government policies, including the new labour code laws and agriculture laws enacted by Parliament during its Monsoon Session, and issues arising from national lockdown.
“The national general strike will set the tone for sustained aggression against the Union government,” a leader said on Sunday, and added the unions will focus the campaign in Bihar during electioneering.
The unions are a strong support base of Left parties, especially in the state of Kerala ruled by it, and in West Bengal where they ruled for more than three decades on end, before being dethroned by the TMC led by Mamata Banerjee.
While West Bengal and Kerala had been signature states of the Left, it had strong base especially the CPI and CPI(M-L) in Bihar in the seventies-eighties.
Their hold on Bihar became tenuous over the years. They are smarting from not only being marginalised in West Bengal, and Tripura where it also ruled, but made to face existential threat from the BJP.
The saffron party wrested power from Left in Tripura, emerged as the principal opposition in West Bengal in the last parliamentary elections, and is working hard at subterranean level in Kerala.
The upshot of the gradual decline of Left parties is their diminishing clout in national politics.