Kolkata: In the backdrop of CPI-M`s dismal show in Lok Sabha poll, former party stalwart Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday pitched for an immediate change in the party`s leadership, accusing it of losing contact with the masses.
Chatterjee, a former Lok Sabha Speaker, who was expelled by CPI-M in 2008, said the present leadership of the party was there for a long time and should immediately quit.
He said the party had failed to follow veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu`s advice of always keeping in touch with the people and could not launch a single worthwhile movement on issues affecting the people.
"Jyoti Basu often exhorted party leaders to keep constant touch with the people. But they (CPI-M leadership) became distant from the people and were unable to launch a single (worthwhile) movement on burning issues", Chatterjee told PTI here.
Pointing out that a new leadership was immediately necessary, Chatterjee said that "in the party there is a good pool of talented young men and women leaders who can take over the reins to steer the party."
He criticised his former party with which he had a long association, saying whatever movements the party had undertaken so far were "directionless".
"I ask on what burning topics in India, they had a programme? Only holding meetings among themselves won`t do," he felt.
He said one of the reasons behind BJP`s sterling performance in the poll was that "the Left has not spoken on the burning issues in the country".
"What it did at best was to pass a resolution and at recent times we have not seen any movement. They should immediately quit. Let the new leadership inspire the people. The present leadership is there for a long time," he said.
Chatterjee, a front-ranking CPI(M) leader for decades, was expelled from the party in July, 2008 after the trust vote in Parliament over Indo-US nuclear deal.
Chatterjee also accused the party leadership of failing to stand beside partymen in villages. "The party workers face torture and problems in villages but there is no one to stand beside them."