CPI(M) state secretary and politburo member Surjakanta Misra on Monday instructed the booth level party workers not to leave the polling stations under any circumstances.
Misra was addressing the party leaders from 10 districts of South Bengal at Pramod Dasgupta Bhavan on Monday.
Veteran party leaders including Ramala Chakraborty, Kanika Bandhyopadhyay, Sujan Chakraborty and Nepal Deb Bhattacharya attended the meeting. CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Bandhyopadhyay was also present.
Before the state committee meeting on February 12, CPI(M) leaders held a meeting at Alimuddin Street on Monday to discuss the poll strategy.
Not getting any response from the Congress over the possible electoral alliance and sensing resentment from senior party leaders and Left Front constituents, the party leaders have decided to gear up for the Assembly polls.
The leaders expressed their concern over sharp fall of young members who were recruited to man the booths. Party comrades manning booths are supposed to know each and every person in the area. Earlier, party leaders used to visit individual houses and flats in Behala, Jadavpur, Tollygunge and vast areas in Salt Lake, Lake Town, Bangur Avenue and Dum Dum Park. They also tried to push party organ Ganashakti.
But after the party’s poll debacle in 2011 Assembly polls, less number of youth have joined the party. In many areas, the party offices remained closed for several months and several CPI(M) workers have joined the Trinamool Congress.
In areas like Jadavpur, Behala, Ramgarh and Tollygunge, the pattern of voters has changed over the years. In these areas several colonies came up where refugees from erstwhile East Pakisthan came and settled. CPI(M) old guards like Prasanta Sur, Sachin Sen, Haridas Malakar and Manoj Pratim Chakraborty had organised the refugees who were considered to be CPI(M) stronghold.
After coming to power in 1985 in Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the CPI(M) controlled civic board had allowed construction of high-rises after filling up water bodies. People from other areas came and they were not ‘committed’ Left voters.
The CPI(M) also lost track with such people. From Jadavpur, Behala and Tollygunge, the CPI(M) has been virtually routed. Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lost to Manish Gupta by huge margin in 2011 elections.
Bhattacharjee’s colleague Gautam Deb lost to Bratya Basu in Dum Dum and Nirupam Sem lost to Rabiranjan Chatterjee in Burdwan. However, efforts were not made to regain lost ground in all these areas.
Party’s young candidates like Madhuja Sen Roy, Gargi Chatterjee and Shatarup Ghosh also also do not have mass contacts. It is a fact that the party has failed to rejuvenate the local committees and so it is difficult to deploy effective cadres at booths.