West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said he has been making efforts in his "own way" to bring leaders like Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee back into the CPI(M) fold.
"I miss him. For us, losing a personality like Somnath da and a leader like him ... On the part of the party and also on a personal level is a bit painful," Bhattacharjee said in an interview to a local television channel in Kolkata.
The chief minister was asked if it would be possible to set aside personal feelings and egos to get leaders like Chatterjee and former MP Saifuddin Chowdhury, who had been expelled from the CPI(M), back into the party fold.
Bhattacharjee replied: "An individual doesn't make the party. The party is made up of several people. I can say this much that I am doing it in my own way".
The chief minister, however, did not specify whether his efforts were intended towards the return of both leaders or only Chatterjee.
"I won't say anything specifically. I have talked to my colleagues on this issue in Delhi and Kolkata," he said.
Chowdhury, who formed the Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS), however, said: "No body has talked to me on this".
"May be his (Bhattacharjee's) attitude is that we should return. But he knows why we came out of the party. He also knows whether such a possibility exists or not," he said.
Chowdhury is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Jadavpur constituency on a PDS ticket.