Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat has denied having told well-known British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm that his party is expected to do “very badly” in West Bengal in the assembly elections next year.
Karat told reporters on Wednesday that the conversation took place in November last year and the context was the Maoist violence in Bengal.
He was reacting to media reports regarding an interview of Hobsbawm, carried in the January-February issue of the Leftist journal New Left Review, published from London.
In a statement in CPM mouthpiece in Kerala, Deshabhimani, Karat said though he had spoken to Hobsbawm over telephone a few months ago, the historian’s comments on CPM’s electoral prospects were his (Hobsbawms) views and had nothing to do with the party.
In the interview, Hobsbawm has said Karat had told him that the CPM was “beleaguered and besieged” in West Bengal, where it has been in power for three decades and was expected to do badly in the assembly polls due next year.