The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday began a two-day meeting called primarily to discuss the preparations for the party's extended Central Committee meeting due to be held in August.

The Polit Bureau, being held in the backdrop of the recent municipal elections in West Bengal in which the Left Front suffered reverses, also heard a preliminary report on the debacle.

The West Bengal State Committee that is scheduled to meet later this month will hold detailed discussions and the matter will be placed before the Polit Bureau.

Party general secretary Prakash Karat told The Hindu that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee could not be present at the meeting as his presence was required in the State where violence erupted after the polls.

“Four of our people, including one on Saturday, have been killed,” Mr. Karat said adding that the Chief Minister also held the Home portfolio.

Speaking to journalists later, CPI (M) State leader Biman Bose said one of the reasons for the debacle was the inability of the party to implement its programme completely.

He said the party would continue to work and develop closer relations with the people.