Local body elections a litmus test for West Bengal CPI

The mood among the delegates from West Bengal is up and down. They are optimistic about an alliance withthe Congress, but pensive about panchayat elections back home

Published: 26th April 2018 01:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2018 02:03 AM   |  A+A-

CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy and other leaders offering tributes after hoisting the party flag to mark the beginning of the 23rd party congress.

By Express News Service

KOLLAM: The issues at home have been written largely on the faces of CPI leaders from West Bengal which is bracing for panchayat election to be held in the first week of May. The delegates led by the state secretary of CPI in West Bengal Swapan Banerjee huddled under a mango tree near Yunus Convention Centre (A B Bardhan Nagar) as they waited for lunch.

The number of delegates attending the party congress has been reduced to 38 from 53, as the party deployed the leaders to help file nominations. There is so much of violence and hooliganism unleashed by cadre of Trinamool Congress. People are not allowed to file nomination papers, said Banerjee as he finished smoking a cigarette. The party has reasons to be worried as the base has been eroding ever since Mamata Banerjee came to power.

The erosion is severe in rural West Bengal where the party was once very strong. We do not have much issue in the urban areas, especially Kolkata. But we are worried about our rural base, he said. The CPI is contesting 3,000 of the 48,000 panchayat seats. The Left Front consisting of 12 parties are contesting in all seats. According to Banerjee, the growth of the BJP with the tacit support of TMC has increased the communal polarisation in West Bengal. In the current political scenario, a political merger similar to the union of two main communist parties in Nepal was a desired one, he said. There is very little difference between the CPM and the CPI.

But the merger is not easy. We need to work towards it, said Banerjee. CPI's roleThe West Bengal unit wanted an active role for the party in national politics. They said the discussions in party congress would be find a road map for it. We need to raise the class struggle, go to the street and mobilise people, said Banerjee. He acknowledged the party had not taken up the mantle yet. He put the blame partly on the media for not being supportive enough of its initiatives.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp