The shortcomings and weaknesses of the Left Front government accumulated over three decades in performance and delivery were the factors behind the worst-ever debacle in the West Bengal Assembly elections, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said here on Sunday.
Ending its two-day review of the April-May Assembly elections across five States, the Central Committee of the party spent much of its energies analysing the reasons that made the people opt for a change in favour of the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine in West Bengal and the close miss in Kerala where the Congress-led United Democratic Front wrested power from the Left Democratic Front by a slender margin.
While identifying that “weakness and shortcomings in some of the policies and measures adopted for the welfare of the people” by the government led to the situation, the party also found that style of behaviour by some members in the State Party added to the factors, leading to alienation of the people.
“Notwithstanding the achievements of the successive Left Front governments since 1977, the prolonged rule for 34 years led to accumulation of negative factors and people voted for a change,” party general secretary Prakash Karat said, briefing journalists here at the conclusion of the deliberations.
To a question on change of leadership in view of the electoral reverse, he said: “Our leadership role is not decided on the basis of electoral verdict… it comes on the basis of a political line pursued and various other factors.”
The Central Committee also admitted that “mistakes with regard to Singur and Nandigram proved costly.” This admission came some time after the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee conceded having made administrative and political mistakes in the process.
As for Mr. Bhattacharjee’s absence, Mr. Karat said, the health of the former Chief Minister was such that he was unable to travel outside Kolkata but was attending work at the party office there.
On the political front, the meeting rejected the “motivated propaganda” that the electoral setback in West Bengal rendered the CPI (M) and the Left `politically irrelevant,’ emphasising that the party in the State and the Left movement underwent “many vicissitudes in the past and emerged stronger.”
The party said t that under the TMC leadership, there was a concerted effort to ensure a gang-up of disparate political forces ranging from the extreme right to Maoists to isolate and weaken the Left Front.
Mr. Karat charged the Trinamool-led coalition government with not showing any interest in curbing the continuing violence against the Left front and CPI (M) workers, which resulted in the death of 388 people since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
On Kerala, he said, the meeting directed the State party to examine the various aspects of the elections results and take steps to further strengthen the party and the Left movement there.
Asked about the approach of the LDF and possible bid for power should a situation arise considering the narrow majority of the UDF, Mr. Karat said: “We are not in any way going to interfere with the verdict…it is for them [UDF] to govern…we will play the role of an alert opposition and oppose any move to reverse the good decisions taken by the LDF taken in the interest of the State.”
To a question whether the delay in announcing the candidature of V. S. Achuthanandan, leading to a close miss figured at the meeting, Mr. Karat said the analysis did not apportion any blame but went into how speculation on the issue could have been avoided.
The meeting decided to hold the next party congress in the beginning of April next year in Kerala. The meeting, scheduled for this year, was postponed on account of the Assembly elections. Hindu