Veteran quiz master and Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien recently delivered a lecture at Ivy League Yale University on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's ascent to power, her struggling years and what he terms as the people's movement to oust a Communist government that ruled the state for over three decades.
IBNLive:The communists had been in power in West Bengal for decades. How did your party take on a strong cadre-based party? What were the key elements of your partys strategy in combating the Left in Bengal?
Derek: There was no quick answer. It happened over a long period. It took a series of movements to take on the communists (including a 26-day hunger strike!) The strength was that they were people's movements. It had to be down upwards not top downwards. You've read about the Nandigram and Singur movements but they were not the only ones. There were many such movements. Yes, peoples movements were the key.
IBNLive:With respect to future alliances and the 2014 general elections, how wedded is your party to the UPA? Trinamool has been a coalition partner of the BJP in the past. Would you consider joining hands with them in 2014? Is that foreseeable? ...more
11:35 AM, Oct 15, 2011
Kolkata: As the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine heads for a landslide win in West Bengal on Friday, most of the Left stalwarts lost their seats as angry voters punished leaders of the world's longest ruling elected Communist government for non-performance. After seven straight victories, the Left Front government in West Bengal on Friday came crumbling down, unable to withstand the 'paribartan' (wave for change) of the Trinamool Congress. Chief Minister and...
11:47 AM, May 13, 2011