The Communist Party of India (Marxist) brass met here on Thursday to finalise its strategy on bringing together 'secular' parties to target the government on the Nuclear Liability Bill and the Budget and decide on the meeting of extended central committee slated later this year.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, however, could not attend the meeting due to the ongoing state assembly session and in the aftermath of the fire in Kolkata’s Park Street. At least 24 people were killed in the incident.
"He was unable to leave the city due to the prevailing situation there," said state CPI(M) secretary and Politburo member Biman Bose.
Bhattacharjee has stayed away from majority of the Politburo meetings since the party’s disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections in May last year.
The party leaders, however, said Bhattacharjee was no longer angry with the central leadership and has been attending all the meetings since October last year.
The two-day Politburo, being held at the AKG Bhavan, is being attended by party general secretary Prakash Karat, M.K. Pandhe, Brinda Karat, Manik Sarkar and Pinarayi Vijayan, among others.
April 8 protest
The four Left parties — CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc — have planned to intensify their protests against price rise by giving a call to fill the prisons (jail bharo) on April 8.
The Left parties are planning to coordinate actively with the opposition parties in Parliament to take on the UPA government particularly on the rise in petro product prices and the overall increase in prices of essential commodities during the remaining part of the Budget session.
The CPI(M) unit of West Bengal will not participate in the party’s nationwide 'Jail Bharo' agitation against price rise next month. It will, however, only resort to picketing.
Defending the state unit’s decision, Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said since the Left Front government was in power in West Bengal, "the state never had a 'jail bharo' (fill the jails) mode of protest".
"They will have their own form of agitation. The basic point is that we will have at least 25 lakh people courting arrest as part of our agitation," he added.
With PTI inputs