The two-day meeting of the top CPI(M) leadership ended on Sunday without any final decision on how to set its house in order in its crumbling strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala.
The party did not discuss the absence of two of its key leaders from a meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body, the Politburo.
Instead, it chose to attack the UPA government’s first 100 days in office in its four-page statement released after the meeting.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee remained absent from the Politburo meeting for the third time since the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.
The CPI(M)’s controversial Kerala unit boss, Pinarayi Vijayan, who has to appear in a Kochi court later this month to defend himself against corruption allegations, did not attend the meeting either.
Officially, the party maintained that Bhattacharjee could attend the meeting as he was unwell. When reporters pointed out that the chief minister was scheduled to visit Siliguri on Monday, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said: “He has been asked not to visit Siliguri also.”
There was no rebuttal or denial from the central leadership on reports that Bhattacharjee was preparing to quit.
Faced with a difficult situation in Kerala, where Vijayan has been summoned by a local Kochi court to appear in a multi-crore rupee corruption case to face a chargesheet by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the party ducked the issue of his absence from meeting.
It is learnt that Vijayan is unlikely to appear in court, citing health grounds. He stayed away from the party meeting in Delhi citing the same reason.
The CPI(M) Politburo will meet again on October 11 to finalise a document for carrying out a rectification campaign within the party to discipline its cadres.
“No final decision has been taken on the rectification document. More discussions are needed. The full Politburo will meet on October 11,” party leader M.K. Pandhe told mediapersons.
This will be followed by a Central Committee meeting from October 23-25 to finalise the document, Pandhe said.
The CPI(M) came down heavily on the UPA government for pursuing “neo-liberal policies”, and described the BJP as a “a political instrument of the RSS,” which has been confirmed by its latest internal crisis.