The politburo of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Saturday began a two day meeting in Kolkata, to finalise the party's strategy in the upcoming assembly elections in five states including West Bengal and Kerala where the Marxists are in the saddle.
The Left Front government in West Bengal and the Left Democratic Front regime in Kerala - both led by the CPI-M - face tough challenges in the elections, now only months away.
While the Left Front, in power since 1977, has lost a series of recent polls in the state, the LDF was also decimated in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Besides, the bitter infighting in the Kerala unit with Chief Minister Left Democratic Front and state secretary Pinarai Vijayan constantly at loggerheads, has made things difficult in the southern state.
The politburo members are deliberating on the role of the left MPs in the wake of various financial scams that have engulfed the central government and on building up nationwide protests against the price rise of essentials for which the Marxists have held the United Progressive Alliance regime responsible, said a party source.
The politburo meeting is being held amid a surcharged political atmosphere in West Bengal following the killing of eight villagers at Netai near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district eight days back. Political opponents have alleged that the assailants who shot dead the villagers were sheltered in an armed camp run by the CPI-M, which has denied the charge.
The party source said the politburo would take a look into the prevailing political situation in the state and decide the party's approach.