Yechury doesn't rule out change of leadership

Yechury doesn`t rule out change of leadership New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Monday admitted that some element of "alienation" and "anger" worked behind its drubbing in West Bengal polls and did not rule out a change of Central leadership, saying the process of introspection is on.

In an interview to a news channel, senior party Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the exercise of introspection is underway but whether that will lead to a leadership change will be decided by the party Central Committee which is meeting in June.

He also acknowledged that the withdrawal of Left support to UPA-I had a "collateral damage" as it created a strong opposition alliance in Bengal but insisted "we had no option".

Asked if someone should take responsibility for the recent poll performance which have left CPI(M) with lowest tally ever either in Parliament or assemblies, he said "it is a question of owning up responsibility for what went wrong and we are in the midst of that exercise... Owning of responsibility has to be collectively done by the leadership".

On if the same leadership under which the debacle took place can probe the causes or whether the Central Committee can bring in "new people", Yechury said, "First thing the Central Committee will do is to begin process of introspection of what went wrong with the same existing leadership.

"As a consequence of that exercise what happens is a different thing... nobody can say now. This exercise is underway and let us see where it reaches."

He said the party Congress is likely to take place at the end of this year. On whether a change of leadership can be brought in there if the Central Committee so decides, he said, "Yes, but all these depends on CC deliberations."

Probed further if it does mean that CPI(M) may see a change of leadership by year-end, Yechury said, "I am not saying this, don't put words in my mouth...there are possibilities like this in any situation." He also said "going by our records", the questions are likely to be "resolved" rather than the CC asking the leadership to step aside.

Yechury said in Bengal, CPI(M) got 41 per cent of votes which is more than what the governments in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh or Bihar have but accepted that a definite "element of alienation" and "certain element of anger" worked behind the defeat.