As per the party’s rules, a member is supposed to give 2 per cent of his income to the party as levy. Also, the party expects that 20 per cent of its members to be youth and 25 per cent women by 2018. The decision was taken at the two day state committee meeting which ended on Thursday. Party’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury was present at the meeting along with the former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
This is for the first time since the inception of the party in 1964 it was found that many party members had not deposited their levy affecting the party’s coffer badly. It started after the party’s poll debacle in 2011 and the situated turned from bad to worse after 2016 Assembly election when the party bagged only 26 MLAs. It has only 2 MPs from West Bengal. After the 2016 poll reverses, many party members did not show interest to renew the membership and stopped depositing levy.
As a result, the party faced problem to pay wage of the whole timers. The party had to withdraw the investments to pay their wages.
Earlier, many industrialists used to contribute to the party fund but with the change of guards they have either stopped payment or drastically reduced their contribution. In view of the situation, party leadership thought that stringent measure should be taken to augment collection of levy.
The party also decided not to give membership to any and everyone and follow the old system of strict scrutiny in view of mass exodus of party leaders and rank and file to Trinamool Congress. The party is losing its control over Gram Panchayat, panchayat Samity because of the exodus. Unless strict measures are taken now, it will face more problems and it will be difficult to iron them out.
It was decided in Thursday’s meeting that efforts would be made to augment its membership drive and bring more youth and women to the party.
Senior leaders who were present in Thursday’s meeting preferring anonymity said lack of confidence and body language showed that the leaders were yet to come out of the “depression resulting in from party’s poll debacle and could not suggest any concrete step which would help the party to come out of the present situation.”