Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Sunday the “glorious history” of the party in West Bengal had been tarnished by the greed for power and money of some.
He attributed the decline in the party’s fortunes in Bengal to “bourgeois influence on living standards”. The CPM, in alliance with other Left parties, has been heading the world’s longest elected Communist government in West Bengal — since 1977.
In the Lok Sabha elections in April and May this year, however, the Left — led by the CPM — put up its worst performance in more than three decades.
There were reportedly many unpleasant exchanges between the 80-odd members who gathered on the first day of the two-day CPM state committee meet on internal evaluation and rectification on Sunday.
At the meeting, Karat criticised the deviation of Marxists from simple living. It is visible not only among young members but among senior leaders too, he reportedly said.
Some claimed that several sections of the party constitution, stipulating rules for inducting members and “arranging for their elementary education” on the programmes and policies of the CPM, had been violated in recent years. Sources said that many participants at the meeting felt there should be tighter scrutiny of people applying for party membership.
However, several state committee members were apprehensive that the rectification process might trigger an exodus from the party.