The CPM is worried about powerful state units of the party in West Bengal and Kerala pursuing positions different from that of the central leadership on many issues.
The political organisation report of the party, which is being discussed at the 20th party congress, also points to central leaders speaking differently on the same subject. These trends are going against the organisational principle of democratic centralism — everyone subscribing to decisions taken by the party through the means of discussions within.
Due to its poor showing in its strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala, the CPM — which had supported the UPA-I from outside — is struggling to regain its electoral relevance. Significantly, in the 2011 assembly polls, the party was thrown out of power in West Bengal after 34 long years.
The political organisation report talks about the growing trend of powerful state units adopting differing views on various issues. These ‘federal’ tendencies go against the principle of ‘democratic centralism’, it said, adding that powerful state units tend to act on their own, and at variance with directions from the central leadership.
Though the political organisation report doesn’t elaborate on the incidents, it was clear that the jabs were directed against the former Buddadeb Bhattacharjee-led government in West Bengal and the Kerala state unit.
Many in the party’s central leadership were not in favour of the industrialisation policies pursued by the Bhattacharjee government since 2007. However, the state unit was overwhelmingly in support of it.
In the case of Kerala, the central leadership was spending more time sorting out the factional feud instead of focusing on governance.