Either change or you are out: Bardhan tells Left
New Delhi: Describing the drubbing of the
Left in West Bengal as a "defining moment", CPI general
secretary AB Bardhan has warned its leaders to "either
change or you are out".
Bardhan recalled that he had earlier cautioned over
the "arrogance" of Left leaders, but refrained from blaming
anybody in particular this time.
"Remain a Communist but not a dogmatic...Those who
cannot change will be out. Either you change or you are out,"
Bardhan told a news channel in an interview.
Bardhan 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
"Accept the defeat with all humility. It is a big
setback. Be prepared to have a long stint in the opposition.
It will be for the benefit of the Left Front. Be constructive,
responsible opposition. Don't enter into a confrontation
everyday on all issues.
"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
The CPI leader said he expected that the Left would
lose West Bengal but the extent of the defeat was a "surprise"
and "shock". Asked about the results, he said, it was a
"defining moment" which makes one sit up and reflect.
On whether it was the arrogance of Left leaders which
led to the electoral setback, he noted that sweeping victories
make one "hot-headed, a bit arrogant" and makes "you feel you
can take people for granted".
"There have been omissions and commissions of Left. The
behaviour of Left cadre was on. They were the vote in anger
against the Left. They (Singur and Nandigram) triggered off
"It gave a feeling Left which once looked invincible
can be fought and defeated. Till then a section of the anti-
Left did not believe that Left could be defeated," he said.
Asked whether the decision to withdraw support to
UPA-I on the nuclear deal resulted in Trinamool and Congress
coming together, he said a section thinks so and added that
nuclear deal was the issue to break the relations though
snapping the ties was "inevitable".
He said there was no point in blaming West Bengal Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee alone for the debacle though
the captain has to take responsibility.
Noting that VS Achutanandan was the most popular in
Kerala, he said nothing went wrong in Kerala and he expected
the Left to win there.