The rout in the civic polls and the slide in the CPM’s fortunes in West Bengal seem to have put Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in a difficult spot.
Bhattacharjee expressed his disappointment at a meeting of the party state secretariat in Kolkata on Thursday.
But sources in the party central leadership said the chief minister and his team had not got their acts together in arresting the downward slide after the last Lok Sabha polls.
The two-day CPI (M) politburo meeting beginning here on Saturday will take stock of the civic poll results. Buddhadeb is set to skip the stock-taking of the central leadership, like he did after the drubbing in the last Lok Sabha elections.
According to sources, the chief minister maintained that some central leaders’ assessment of the state was “removed from ground reality” and he was upset about suggestions from some quarters within the CPM to advance the assembly polls.
Some central leaders believe that Bhattacharjee hasn’t done enough to make the “administration more responsive” to the people and launch efforts to win back the traditional supporters of the party.
“Each election is fought on different issues. The local body elections are fought on local issues, so the role of the state administration and the performance of the various departments are very important, and they have been found wanting,” said a central leader.
One leader went to the extent of saying that “deviating from the 2001 assembly mandate (won after projecting that an improved Left was the alternative to the Left)” was the major mistake of the administration led by Bhattacharjee.
Like in the past, the allies too will be piling pressure on the CPM and the chief minister for the “inadequate course correction”, he said.
“Allies like us and the RSP have done better compared to the performance of the CPM. Being the biggest party in the alliance, they, including the chief minister, have to deliver more,” said a Forward Bloc leader.