Ahead of the crucial assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala, the differences between the CPI (M) central leadership and its Bengal unit have reached a flashpoint.
Three top party leaders from Bengal — chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, state party boss Biman Basu and the powerful industries minister Nirupam Sen — openly challenged the Delhi-based leadership’s political tactics, in the two-day Politburo meeting, which ended on Sunday.
The criticism was aimed at party general secretary Prakash Karat’s handling of the support to UPA-I and its withdrawal over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Sources told HT, the Bengal CM was so displeased with the answers to his questions that he walked out of the meeting on Sunday afternoon.
According to the Bengal trio, efforts of the Central leaders in dealing with the pre- and post-nuclear deal political situation only helped in strengthening the Congress, which not only signed the nuclear deal but also won the 2009 general elections.
Party insiders have also told HT that senior Politburo member Sitaram Yechury also shared the Bengal CPM’s concerns. The sharp attack from the three Bengal leaders forced party general secretary Prakash Karat and other central leaders to agree for a separate document on the review of the political line which led to withdrawal of support from the UPA-I in July 2008, and the subsequent failed attempts to cobble together a fledgling third front.
The central leadership though claims that party’s Bengal wing delayed the withdrawal of support by 10 months, fearing it would affect the outcome of the panchayat polls in the state.