Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is facing flak for a string of
electoral defeats of CPI(M), on Thursday found support from former
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who said there was no
need for him to step down.
"I do not think the present chief minister should
retire. It is for the people to give their verdict and I am
sure they will give their verdict, but at the appointed time.
There is no question of abrupt or forcible termination of the
five year tenure," Chatterjee told a news agency in an interview.
Chatterjee was asked about demands by the Trinamool
Congress that the chief minister should step down as he has
lost the mandate of the people
The veteran leader did not think that Bhattacherjee
had lost the mandate of the people to rule and that he should
resign on moral grounds.
"He should continue to govern in a proper manner
inspite of debacles and see that West Bengal progresses."
80-year-old Chatterjee, who was expelled from the
CPI(M) in July 2008 after the trust vote in parliament over
the Indo-US nuclear deal issue, hit out at the central
leadership of the CPI(M) for the party `losing relevance` as
seen in the string of electoral defeats in West Bengal.
"It is an agonising situation today that the Left has
lost its relevance in the Indian political scene. It is clear
that the support base of the Left has considerably shrunk,"
"It is to be seen whether the action of the central
leadership of withdrawal of support to the UPA government on
the plea of the nuclear deal in 2008, has directly affected
the people`s perception of the relevance of the Left parties
in Indian politics," Chatterjee said.
"They withdrew support to the government on the plea
of the nuclear deal and wanted to form a Third Front all of
which fizzled out," he said.
On the reported move by a section in the Bengal CPI(M)
to take him back in the party, Chatterjee said he was told by
a state committee member that he had raised this at a recent
"I never left the party. The party felt that I was not
a suitable person to continue as a member," Chatterjee said.
"At the moment there is no possibility of my return to
the party. I wish to make it very clear that I shall never
apply to them, never write to them and never appeal to them,"
Asked if he would return to the party if it needed
him, he said, "This is a speculative question. I do not wish
Referring to the Left`s defeat in a series of
elections from the Lok Sabha to the assembly bypolls to
student union elections in the state, he said "It is for the
leaders of the left parties and the workers to introspect
whether there has been anything lacking in the administration
or the governance or whether it is due to the policies and
programmes of the party."