Educationalist Sunanda Sanyal, once known for his close affiliation with West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, on Thursday strongly criticised the lack of democratic environment under the present government, but ruled out joining hands with the BJP. Talking to IANS ahead of his scheduled meeting with West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh, Sanyal said he and the other civil society members, who backed the Trinamool during the Left Front regime, never visualised the state would slip to such a situation. “We hit the streets to drive away the Left regime and bring about a political change in Bengal but we never wanted this change. There is no democracy in Bengal now,” Sanyal claimed.
“Our movement was against the wrong policies of the erstwhile Left Front government and the arrogance of certain Left leaders. However, the Left Front regime was far better than the current one,” he alleged. Sanyal, who opposed the Left Front for years ever since it stopped teaching of English till Class 5, was a prominent face in the Singur land movement (2006-08) that eventually turned the Trinamool’s political fortunes and helped it emerge victorious in the 2011 assembly elections. However, he opposed the various “wrongdoings” of the Trinamool government and was manhandled by cops during a protest demonstration against the Saradha chit-fund scam in 2013. Sanyal during the meeting later offered Ghosh his blessings and good wishes but rebuffed any possibility of “actively joining the BJP”.
“They might want me to join the party but I will not actively join the BJP. The Indian economy is suffering due to their wrong moves,” he said. Ghosh, however, parried queries about asking Sanyal to join the BJP and termed the meeting a courtesy visit. “I have come to meet him as he is very ill. I know him for a long time. He is not like a lot of other intellectuals in the state who are always looking for their own benefit,” Ghosh said. “He did not join the Singur movement for any economic or political gains. That’s why we all love him,” he added.