In an apparent dig at former chief minister and party colleague Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s stewardship, CPI(M) MLA Abdur Rezzak Mollah on Monday said his party lacked a leader to overcome the challenges it was facing.

“If you need to run a party, you need a leader. For driving a boat you need a captain. feel our party unit doesn’t have a captain to lead. We need a captain to lead us. We need new leadership to lead us,” said Mr. Mollah.

Asked who would fit the bill among the present crop of leaders according to him, Mr. Mollah said, “There are many who have the required qualities. Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra and Gautam Deb are some who can lead the party.”

Mr. Mollah’s comments are significant since the recent by-polls in the state demonstrated further fall in the Left’s vote share.

Although the Left Front managed to wrest Nalhati seat from the Congress, the results showed that it was the division of votes between the Congress and Trinamool Congress that led to the victory of the Left.

Mr. Mollah, a CPI(M) MLA since 1971, has been a bitter critic of Mr. Bhattacharjee’s industrial policy during the Left regime. After the Assembly poll debacle in 2011, Mr. Mollah had directly blamed Mr. Bhattacharjee and then state industries minister Nirupam Sen for the rout.

Mr. Mollah also termed suggestions of a Left turnaround in the state as a ‘day-dream’.

He also did not spare state party secretary Biman Bose who, he said, had failed to throw out opportunists in the party, even after acknowledging their harmful presence.

“Unless we are able to do a proper rectification, the turnaround will be a day-dream,” the veteran leader said.