KOLKATA: Bengal CPI(M) leaders faced strong criticism by the party functionaries from other states over the issue of the tactical line that was adopted in the recent Assembly elections in the state.
During the first day of the organisation’s three-day central committee meeting which started from Friday virtually, the panel members from West Bengal were held responsible for the party’s never-seen-before disastrous performance failing to win a single seat out of 294.
The members from states such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Telangana of the party’s second-highest body said the tactical line of equating Modi with Didi (Mamata) was a serious mistake that damaged the party’s electoral prospects.
"The Bengal leaders did not portray the BJP as its prime foe in the Assembly elections. Instead, they equated the BJP with the TMC. The Bengal leadership erred in alleging that the TMC and the BJP were working with the understanding between themselves which resulted in confusion among the party supporters and the vote-bank that had been with the CPI(M)," a central committee member alleged during Friday’s virtual meeting.
The first day's meeting was focused on the analysis of Assembly election results in five states/UT — West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu.
The leaders from Bengal, however, said they had followed the strategy adopted in the last party congress on the line of uniting democratic and secular forces. "Our strategy of equating the TMC with the BJP might be a wrong decision. But it cannot be identified as the only reason for the party’s debacle in the state. Our slogan of Beejamool to portray the TMC and BJP as two sides of the same coin might not go down well. We attacked both the parties with the same intensity without identifying which one was the prime enemy," said a CPI(M) leader in Kolkata.
The leader also pointed out that many leaders in other states did not accept CPI(M)’s coalition with the Congress in the Assembly elections. "We shared seats with the Congress in 2016 Assembly elections ignoring the central leadership’s objection. In the Hyderabad party congress in 2018, the party approved a coalition with other secular parties, including Congress. We followed the same tactical line," the leader said.
CPI(M)’s state secretary Suryakanta Mishra recently acknowledged the mistake of equating the BJP with the TMC and made it clear that opposing the saffron camp would be the primary task for the party from now.