What contributed to the rout of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) in West Bengal after 34 years and the crumbling of the fabled party machinery?
In party's own admission — "manifestations of high-handedness, bureaucratism and the refusal to listen to the views of the people" are among the reasons behind the defeat.
That's not all. In CPM's own jargon — "corrosive influence" of being a ruling party also had played its role. What does it mean? "The existence of corruption... among a small strata of party leaders due to the corrosive influence of being a ruling party... for a prolonged period was resented by the people."
All this form part of the review report of the assembly elections adopted by the party in its central committee meeting of the party last month.
There are other examples of power corrupting the party. "The independent role of the party and the mass organisations was impaired due to the dependence on the administration."
On the administration front party cited a host of shortcomings of the CPM-led government in West Bengal . These pertain to the "public distribution system, health, education, rural development and other welfare measures" "The deficiencies in basic services and their delivery caused discontent among the people," says the report. It also admits that "Nandigram and subsequent police firing alienated sections of the intelligensia and the middle classes"
The report then goes on to say that the erosion of support among the "working class and the rural and urban poor indicates the failing to consistently take up class issues".
The party also admits some steps, such as the reservation for Muslims under OBC category came "too late to make a difference".
Meanwhile, the party also gloated that it had polled 1.95 crore votes in the assembly polls — that is 41% of the total votes.