Demand for leadership change, Karat, Biman face flak

Demand for leadership change, Karat, Biman face flak

Demand for leadership change, Karat, Biman face flak

In the wake of unprecedented rout faced by CPI(M) in the Lok Sabha polls, the chorus for change of leadership grew louder at its ongoing state committee meeting here and party general secretary Prakash Karat faced flak for its 'faulty' political line.

CPI(M), which put up its worst performance in the general election since its formation in the mid '60s, has been on the boil for the last few days with demands for change of the 'incompetent' party leadership gaining momentum.

The chorus for change in the leadership has been joined by the present mid-level leaders of CPI-M as well as its expelled leaders.

So much so that the ongoing two-day state committee meeting, which began from June 2, has been the most heated one in recent memory.

State committee leaders representing various districts without naming anyone lashed out at Karat, state secretary Biman Bose, politburo member and former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, and state leader of opposition Surya Kanta Mishra for failing to provide leadership in the time of crisis.

Karat, along with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and politiburo member Sitaram Yechury were present at the meeting.

The party, which had relinquished its power to Trinamool Congress in West Bengal after 34 years in 2011, had managed to win just two of the 42 Lok Sabha seats this time compared to the 9 out of the 15 seats won by Left Front in 2009.

"The call for third front with regional parties just before elections didn't find any takers among the masses just like in 2009. The line adopted by the top leadership didn't find any takers as the third front failed to provide any alternative to the corrupt UPA regime," a state committee leader said.

Another state committee leader said the CPI-M leadership had failed to gauge the polarisation in the state between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP caused by the verbal duel between BJP leader Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee during campaigning.

"We had completely failed to understand that Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi's verbal duel is polarising the polls. We thought that BJP would eat into TMC's vote share but in reality BJP ate into the Left space, irrespective of the fact that the Left has been traditionally against BJP and communal forces," the state committee leaders said.

Several leaders also lashed out at top leadership's theory of 'collective responsibility' to stem any criticism directed to them after the debacle.

The demands of change in the CPI-M leadership comes just days after a rally was organised outside CPI(M) state headquarters here by its present mid-level leaders and expelled leaders. The rally had demanded immediate change in party leadership to save the Left movement in Bengal.

"The leadership has failed to deliver repeatedly and there is a immediate need to change this incompetent and old leadership in order to save the Left in Bengal," expelled CPI(M) leader Prasenjit Bose had said at the rally.