The feud within the Left Front over the recent assembly poll debacle in West Bengal flared up on Monday, with the CPI and the All-India Forward Bloc squarely blaming the CPM for the defeat. The Bloc leaders hinted that they might quit the Front if the CPM did not address the leadership issues.
“If the CPM does not bring about positive changes in their leadership and approach, we will be forced to take our own course,” said Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas.
Asked if that meant quitting the Front, Biswas said, “Just wait and watch.”
The Bloc had not threatened to quit the 34-year-old Front even in 2007, when the cracks had surfaced in the alliance over the Nandigram firing incident.
Simultaneously on Monday, Manju Kumar Majumdar, CPI West Bengal secretary, alleged that the CPM’s deviation from the Leftist ideology, as evinced by the acquisition of multi-crop land in Singur, was a huge reason behind the electoral defeat.
Directly criticising the “arrogant” and “egotistical” attitude of former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Majumdar said, “Attitudes like ‘we are 235 and they are….’ are not desirable in a democracy.”
Just after the landslide victory in the 2006 assembly polls, which saw the Front win 235 seats, Bhattacharjee had famously said, “We are 235, they (Trinamool) are 30”. The statement had become a hallmark of his arrogance.
Majumdar also alleged that whenever the CPI used to raise questions within the Front, the CPM used to “overlook” it.
He even accused Bhattacharjee of advocacy of the Salim Group of Indonesia to draw investment and keeping the other allies in the dark about the matter.
Biswas said: “I will ask CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI general secretary AB Bardhan whether they had consented to the policy decisions regarding Singur and Nandigram.”