In a new twist to the ongoing politics prior to the civic polls, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday asked BJP supporters to vote for the Marxists. Bhattacharjee made this appeal while addressing a public meeting in Bansdroni, on the southern fringe of the city.
“I appeal to those who support the BJP and vote for that party, do not spoil your vote. Vote for us, I assure you that we will work for the city,” said Bhattacharjee.
The BJP has fielded 92 candidates in the upcoming Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections and in the last parliamentary elections its vote share was 6.36 per cent. The party can play a vital role in the victory of any candidate in Kolkata and other civic bodies.
An angry BJP retaliated: “They have come to our doors with a begging bowl. It shows we are important to both the CPM and the Trinamool. Following the split between the Congress and the Trinamool over seat sharing, the Trinamool had also asked for our votes. They are mistaken because a BJP voter will never vote for any other party,” said Rahul Sinha, party’s state unit president.
Sources in the CPM said that the Congress has a 16 per cent vote share, but a section of Congress voters will vote for the Trinamool and thereby harm prospects of the Left Front candidates. “If a section of BJP voters cast their votes for the Left candidates, it will be easier for us to contest Trinamool candidates,” said a leader.
Former chief minister Jyoti Basu had appealed to the Congress supporters in the state to vote for the Left Front candidates in the Assembly bypolls held in December 2009. However, his appeal did not work and Left Front candidates were defeated in nine out of the ten constituencies.