CPI leaders review electoral drubbing in West Bengal

The CPI top brass reviewed the drubbing of the Left in the recent assembly elections in its stronghold of WB terming it as a "serious political setback".

Updated: May 24, 2011, 21:28 PM IST

New Delhi: The CPI top brass on Tuesday
reviewed the drubbing of the Left in the recent assembly
elections in its stronghold of West Bengal terming it as a
"serious political setback" and decided to make joint efforts
to regain their lost base there.

A meeting of the party`s National Executive heard
reports received from its units in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil
Nadu and Assam and held in-depth review of the Left`s poll
performance and reasons for the humiliating defeat in Bengal.

The meeting came in the backdrop of party General
Secretary AB Bardhan warning Left leaders to "either change
or you are out" and describing the Left`s debacle in West
Bengal as a "defining moment".

Party sources said both the CPI as well as the CPI(M)
needed to deeply introspect on the results and the drawbacks
on the political, organisational and administrative
fronts, including "arrogance of power" and corruption in West

A major factor was the alienation of minorities and
scheduled castes and tribes from the Left, especially on
issues concerning employment and education, they said, adding
that these areas were not tackled properly by the major
partner CPI(M) and the government led by it.

However in Kerala, the fightback by the LDF was
noteworthy as it lost from the UDF by only three seats, the
sources said.

In a recent interview, Bardhan said he had earlier
warned Left leaders of the "arrogance" of some leading cadres.

He told them: "Remain a Communist but not a
dogmatic...Those who cannot change will be out. Either you
change or you are out".

The veteran communist had also advised the Left to be
prepared to have a "long stint" in the opposition benches and
be a "constructive, responsible" opposition which does not
enter into confrontation with the government every day on all
issues in West Bengal.

"Don`t try to be non-cooperative. Trinamool Congress
was non-cooperative. We should cooperate if good things are
done. We should support it. But in the name of change, if all
gains made earlier are reversed, then we need to fight," he
had said.

The CPI National Executive also discussed issues
concerning price rise, the Left demand for universalising
public distribution system, corruption and Lok Pal bill.

Details of organising the party`s Congress in Patna in
March next year were also discussed.