The crucial two-day state committee plenum of CPI(M) which begins on Friday in the city is likely to be stormy as majority of the party leaders are up in arms against the lobby of state secretary Surya Kanta Misra for advocating alliance with Congress in 2016 Assembly polls.
Politburo members including Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat will be attending the two-day meet.
The alliance’s performance was disastrous in the Assembly election with CPI(M) bagging only 26 seats, lowest since 1972.
Its allies RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI got 3, 2 and 1 seats respectively. Congress, however, improved its position and got 44 seats.
The politburo of the party did not support the alliance and in a statement clearly stated that “it was not in consonance with the party’s central committee decision to maintain equidistance from Congress and BJP.” It assigned the central committee to sit with the state committee and rectify it.
But the pro-alliance leaders refused to accept it and said that as workers were getting beaten up by Trinamool Congress, alliance with Congress should continue.
But in the past few months, the political scenario in Bengal has changed. Four Congress MLAs have joined Trinamool Congress reducing its strength to 40. Many CPI(M) leaders heading gram panchayats and panchayat samities have crossed the floor affecting party’s support base.
So the biggest question that is coming up is how to stop this onslaught and how the party’s organisation can be strengthened.
Most of the party offices are closed and the revenue has fallen sharply as the collection of levy has gone down. To cope with the situation, the party decided not to renew the membership of those who have not deposited levy for three consecutive months.
Survival has become the most important question of state CPI(M) now as the party has failed to
attract young blood. Attempts were made to woo them by holding classes in colleges but that yielded lukewarm response.
Earlier, the party workers used to set up makeshift stalls in Puja pandals to develop contact with people. But in the past few years, the move has been dropped as there are fewer buyers.
In the party plenum held in the city in December, the party decided to recruit new leaders and accordingly many new faces were given tickets in the Assembly polls. But in the past few months, nothing has been made on the issue.
Senior party leaders admitted that the party had failed to tackle the situation by denying the development that is taking place in the state. But the development is palpable. The party received a
major blow after the Supreme Court declared the decision of the erstwhile CPI(M)-led
government acquisition of farm land in Singur was illegal and Mamata Banerjee took measures to return the land.
“Between 1972 and 1977, the party faced crisis but that was political but now, there is apathy of a large number of people to listen to the party. This trend is dangerous and this will be discussed in the two-day meeting,” senior leaders said.