Describing the reverses suffered by the Left Front in the recent Assembly by-elections in West Bengal as “grim warning,” the Communist Party of India on Monday said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) should take the lead in correcting mistakes in the run-up to the 2011 Assembly polls.
Characterising the poll verdict as an “anti-Left Front” vote rather than an endorsement of the Trinamool Congress, party general secretary A.B. Bardhan said the people voted against the Left, particularly the CPI(M), which leads the Front.
“We feel these results contain a message. We therefore think that within the time available [till the 2011 Assembly polls], efforts should be made by the Left Front and each party within it. The CPI(M), being the largest partner, has the biggest responsibility and should correct whatever mistakes it has committed,” Mr. Bardhan told journalists after the party’s two-day national executive meeting that ended here on Sunday.
The Left Front government had done things it should not have and did not do the things it should have, he said, without elaborating on the grounds that the CPI(M)-led government was aware of the shortcomings. After persistent questions, Mr. Bardhan said that for instance, West Bengal should have emulated the public distribution system implemented by the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala.
He added that in his opinion, there was no case for advancing the Assembly polls in West Bengal, stating that the government had the mandate to govern for five years.
“We think there is every reason to stick to the timetable and those who are in a hurry, we will advise them to be patient.”
Mr. Bardhan said he was not indicting any person. The people had high expectations from the Left Front, and when it could not deliver, the results were evident.
On the national scale, the CPI promised to oppose the decision to disinvest shares in profit-making public sector undertakings. He said the move to reduce the government stake to 51 per cent was just a step short of moving towards privatisation.
Referring to the recent political controversy in Karnataka, Mr. Bardhan said it was dictated by the business interest of mines. Citing the case of the Reddy brothers, he said they benefited due to government policies which charged a low royalty.