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Left Front should change its way of functioning: Bardhan

Analysis of CPI's dismal performance in Assembly elections



CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan

Kolkata: In an oblique critique of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its “unilateral” way of functioning, Communist Party of India general secretary A. B. Bardhan advocated here on Monday a “change in the way of functioning” of the Left Front so that it does not become a “one-party affair”.

Describing his remark as a “fraternal comment of one of the Left Front parties”, Mr. Bardhan said that being the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly now, the Left Front should play a “responsible and constructive” role.

“Our party was critical of the functioning of the Left Front government even when it was in power. Now that it is out of power, there must be a change in the way of functioning… The Left Front as the Opposition should function in a much more collective way on the basis of collective decisions taken through frank discussions,” he said at a press conference following the CPI's two-day West Bengal State Council meeting.

Reasons behind the Left Front's and especially the CPI's dismal performance in the recently concluded State Assembly elections were analysed during the meeting.

The unilateral way of functioning of the CPI (M) while ignoring the advice of the Front allies, the faulty land acquisition policy of the previous State government, arrogance among a section of the CPI (M) leaders and the failure of the Left Front to reach out to people at large with its issues were identified by the CPI as some of the reasons behind the Left Front's poll debacle.

Asked about the Left Front's poor performance in the tea, coal and industrial belts which were traditionally its strongholds, Mr. Bardhan said the situation arose out of the labourers' frustration with the previous government's Labour Department's failure to actively intervene in labour-related issues and take prompt steps.

Pointing out that strengthening the CPI's organisation in the State through a series of independent party programmes was the need of the hour to overcome the setback suffered, he added that joint activities of the front partners will also continue.

Urging the Left Front to function “patiently” as the Opposition in the State Assembly, Mr. Bardhan said it should “support whatever correct steps taken by the government and oppose whatever is not in the interest of a common man”.

Asked about the possibility of a CPI-CPI (M) merger in near future as voiced by a few senior leaders of both the parties recently, Mr. Bardhan said that “the CPI has been talking of a communist unity eventually leading to a merger”.

“I do not believe it will happen tomorrow. It is not a matter of the general secretaries of both the parties shaking hands like bourgeoisie parties. In the meanwhile, unity of action of the Left Front parties is what we are talking about currently,” he added.

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