KOLKATA: The West Bengal unit of CPM has inducted over 300 young leaders to the 23 district committees of the state by replacing around the majority of leaders between the age group of 60 and 80.
The new leaders are between 20 and 30 and the party has ousted over 60 to 80 per cent of its senior leadership.
The process undertaken over past two months gains significance as the party is readying to fight its survival battle in the upcoming panchayat elections where BJP is seeking woo a major share of the rural voter base of CPM and Congress. The party has steadily lost ground to BJP in by-elections over the past two years.
Sources revealed that the move was planned after a 2015 internal report revealed that 13.5 per cent of Bengal’s CPM leadership was under 31. The report was presented before the central leadership.
While CPM politburo member and Lok Sabha MP Mohammad Salim said that the move will increase dynamism in the party, BJP national general secretary Rahul Sinha stated that it was ‘useless to inject life into a patient who is already dead’.
On the other hand, Trinamool Congress secretary general and West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee said that election results show that people of the state are with the ruling party.
Nevertheless, political pundits stated that the move may help revival of the party to a certain extent. “The infusion of young leadership into CPM before the crucial panchayat elections may help the party take unorthodox decisions at this crucial juncture when the threat of BJP to the very existence of Left in Bengal is more than anything else.
However, young blood also needs to be infused into the central leadership,” political observer Dr Amiya Panja said. The central leadership had recently voted out an electoral alliance with Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.