This weekend could turn out to be very crucial for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the state as the Politburo and the Central Committee will discuss the poll debacle in West Bengal and whether the party should continue its alliance with the Congress.
Political analysts said any harsh decision by the Central Committee – that is, if they uphold the Politburo’s view that the electoral strategy in West Bengal was not in consonance with the Central Committee’s decision – might lead to a split in the party.
The Politburo, the party’s highest policymaking body will meet on Friday in Delhi. It will be followed by the three-day Central Committee meeting starting on Saturday.
The Politburo, after a two-day meeting, had issued a statement on May 30 which stated: “The Communist Part of India (Marxist) Politburo on Monday admitted that the electoral strategy in West Bengal was not in consonance with the party’s Central Committee decision.”
However, virtually ignoring the Politburo’s observation, some party leaders – led by Surya Kanta
Misra – had talked in favour of the alliance in the two-day State Committee meeting of the party held on June 11 and 12. Misra blamed organisational failure for the poll debacle and maintained that had the alliance not been there the party would have got even fewer seats.
The party has now 26 MLAs in the state Assembly. Pleading strongly for the alliance, Misra said it could have got 200 seats had the alliance been made eight to nine months ago. The party’s former MP Shamik Lahiri said that the Politburo’s view was not “sacrosanct like the Vedas or Bible and realistic decision should be taken.”
On the contrary, veteran party leader Amal Halder from Burdwan said he had to drown his head in shame when former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee shared the dais with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at Park Circus and clicked pictures together. All the debates happened in presence of party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and former General Secretary Prakash Karat.
Whatever may be the views of the pro-alliance leaders, they know it for certain that the Central Committee, where they are a minority, will not accept their views. Even one of the four Politburo members from West Bengal, Hannan Mollah, is against the alliance. Manick Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura and a Politburo member, had criticised the alliance and described his party in West Bengal as “the third cub of a goat.”
Party insiders said the members from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu would not support the views of the pro-alliance leaders from West Bengal.
“The Central Committee members from West Bengal cannot criticise the Central Committee or Politburo like their counterparts in the state committee, and they would be whitewashed by the
comrades from other states,” they maintained.