Party takes collective responsibility

The central leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is understood to have taken primary responsibility for the poor showing by the party in the Lok Sabha elections. This view emerged during the two-day meeting of the Central Committee – which concluded here on Sunday evening – as several leaders had offered to step down from their respective posts after the results were declared.

Consequent to this decision, the political and tactical line adopted by the party for the elections will be scrutinised. The review, to begin during the next meeting of the Central Committee in August, will include the decision to try and forge a third alternative. Also under review would be the equi-distance policy towards the Congress and the BJP in this election when the ground had been polarised with the emergence of Narendra Modi as the front-runner for premiership.

At least three Central Committee leaders – Sitaram Yechury, M. A. Baby and Biman Bose — had offered to quit after the party posted its worst-ever performance in a Lok Sabha election; picking up just nine seats.

The CPI(M) also faces the possibility of losing its national party status. However, the leaders’ resignation offers were rejected as the CPI(M) works on the principle of collective responsibility. “We are not a private limited company like the Congress or the BJP. We take collective responsibility from top to bottom,’’ said a Central Committee leader.

For the most part, the meeting saw Committee members discuss the election analysis carried out by the State committees. Of particular concern is West Bengal, where the CPI(M) could pick up only two seats. While the party has been attributing its poor performance in the State to violence unleashed by the Trinamool Congress, a section of the State leadership differs with the central line to “wait for the tide to turn against Mamata Banerjee.” They favour a more proactive approach.

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