CPI(M) leadership accepts responsibility for poll debacle

CPI(M) leadership accepts responsibility for poll debacle

The CPI(M) top brass has accepted responsibility for the dismal poll performance and the downward slide in the mass base but any change in leadership would happen only in the party congress next year.

"The Politburo and the central leadership took the primary responsibility for the failure to expand the independent strength and the decline in the mass base of the party which was reflected in the election results," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters today after a two-day meeting of the 89-member Central Committee (CC) here. To questions on whether any leader had offered to quit or was sought to be removed from senior position, he said, "Neither in the Politburo, nor in the CC, did anyone want to resign. In a communist party, no one resigns due to election results. "What we have to take responsibility is for our failure to implement the political-organisational line, advance the party and expand its mass base. We have failed to do so," Karat said in response to repeated questions. Reports had earlier said that Sitaram Yechury and some senior leaders from West Bengal had offered to resign from the Politburo due to the party's dismal poll performance. Speculation about top leaders offering to quit had come weeks after former CPI(M) stalwart Somnath Chatterjee pitched for an immediate change in the party's leadership, accusing it of losing contact with the masses. The former Lok Sabha Speaker was expelled from CPI(M) in 2008. CPI(M)'s strength has fallen sharply to nine members in the Lok Sabha including only two from its bastion in West Bengal, from a total of 16 in the 15th Lok Sabha and 44 in the previous one.

Maintaining that the party had adopted a political- tactical line at the 20th party congress in 2012, he said, "We have not just looked at the election results, but the strength and base of the party across the country which has declined. This was not the situation in 2009 but in 2014.

 The decline is at the all-India level and not West Bengal alone."The political line adopted for the general elections was based on a 'non-Congress, anti-BJP' campaign.

The CPI(M) leader said the party would conduct a thorough review of the political line and the organisational outlook and "if in that process, a change in leadership is necessary it will take place at the party congress. Election results are not going to (lead to) a change in leadership."

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