In a blistering attack on CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has said "disastrous" policies and "misguided" actions of the "current" leadership had resulted in the major debacle in the 2009 general elections.
81-year-old Chatterjee, a 10-time MP who was expelled by the CPI-M in July, 2008 after he refused to abide by the party directive to resign as Lok Sabha Speaker, said Karat's "ignorance and intolerance" was demonstrated when he was summarily shown the door without a showcause notice.
The CPI-M leadership had asked him to resign as Speaker in the wake of its decision to withdraw support to the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal but Chatterjee had defied the party directive.
The veteran leader has given vent to his dismay over the state of affairs in the CPI-M in his book titled Keeping the Faith: Memoirs of a Parliamentarian to be released later this month.
"Thanks to the disastrous polices and misguided actions of the current leadership," the Leftist movement in the country has become "almost irrelevant", according to excerpts from the book.
Chatterjee says the reference to Karat relating to his expulsion occupied only a "minimal" portion in his book.
"It is not my autobiography. It contains reminiscences of my Parliamentary tenure which started in 1971 and ended in the 14th Lok Sabha," Chatterjee said.
"I have reproduced my experiences with different governments and parties during this period," he said adding, "please wait for the book's rlease".
Chatterjee spoke of a stage before the break-up when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior UPA leaders were regularly meeting Karat and other Left leaders for "every proposed action".
According to the excerpts, he said the Left leaders were wielding the "real authority" and some of the leaders like Karat, Bardhan and some others had acquired a larger-than-life image and influence.