The strongest and the most influencial Left leader in West Bengal, Abdur Rezzak Mollah, may well turn out to be be Mamata Banerjee's biggest ally in the election, unintentionally though. The long-time dissident and the recently expelled CPIM leader, Mollah has no soft corner for Mamata Banerjee or her brand of politics.
Yet, now free from the shackles that had tied him down, the peasant leader would spend all his time during the polls in West Bengal in criticising the Left leaders, all the "wrongs" that they committed while in power and highlighting the gradual alienation that the party and its ideology suffered and the alternative that he is offering. The importance of being Abdur Razzak Mollah is not that he is was truly the only leader that the Left had with an enviable mass base particularly among the peasant class or that he was one of the few ministers in Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's government who managed to win in 2011 when Mamata Banerjee swept the assembly polls.
It's also not for his ability to predict the future for he was the only Left leader, who, at least officially foretell the rout of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led government loudly giving out enough warning signals to his ministry as well as the politburo all of which were ignored but were seen as symptoms of defiance and anti party activities.
Mollah's importance lies in what he is going to do now. Apart from inflicting the damage to the Left by criticising from every platforms, rallies and road-side opportunities available to him, Mollah would be eating away a chuck of minority and backward caste votes still remaining with the Left by floating an independent outfit which he has named as Shamajik Naybichar Mancha or Social Justice Forum.
And Mollah is working hard, having bringing in close to 40 fringe players, political parties as well as social groups representing minorities, Dalits and other backward classes across religions, from "perfume baron" Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front to the Federation of SC/ST and the Minority Forum to the Party for Democratic Socialism, formed by two Left leaders expelled by CPIM in 2001, which joined hands with Mollah on Friday.
More such tie-ups are in the offing, Mollah told dna.
"My front wouldn't be about castes or any particular religion. In the current political scenario in Bengal, the Brahmins or the Vaidyas or the Kayasthas are at the top. We want to change that by making the platform horizontal, creating opportunity for everyone according to their representation in the population," he said.
Mollah has been highlighting that Bengal's chief ministers - Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Mamata Banerjee - have all been high caste Hindus.
The next could well be someone from a backward community.
That's what Molla is fighting for.
"What we are doing will fructify in future, not now. We have to travel a long distance. But in this Lok Sabha poll I am currently supporting and campaigning for those like-minded parties which can be brought under my Front," Mollah said.