Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The Left Front Committee in West Bengal asked the leaders of its different constituents here on Tuesday to restrain themselves from making public their views that impinge on its policy decisions and which could prove detrimental to its image, particularly at a time when it is trying to recover from recent electoral reverses.

The responsibility of consolidating Left unity lies with each of its constituents. And even though that of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the biggest — given the fact that it is the largest constituent in the Left Front — “the others [constituents] will also have to take on responsibilities, as will the CPI(M),” said chairman of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose, who is also secretary of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(M), said after a meeting of Left Front leaders.

“What is desirable is that nothing other than what is decided as a matter of policy at Left Front meetings be aired in public.” The meetings are held at least once a month when policy matters are determined, Mr. Bose said.

The decision is significant in the wake of a remark by State Fisheries Minister Kiranmoy Nanda on November 11 that the Left Front government should call for early Assembly elections and seek a fresh public mandate as the recent electoral reverses indicated that the people’s verdict had gone against it. The mandate for the government is till 2011, when the next Assembly elections are scheduled to be held and no decision had been taken either by the Left Front or the CPI(M) to bring forward the date of the polls, the State CPI (M) leadership had subsequently asserted.

Mr. Nanda, whose utterances on the issue had raised eyebrows within the Left Front leadership, was absent at the day’s meeting. He belongs to the West Bengal Socialist Party — a constituent of the Left Front.

The leaders felt Left Front decisions should not be raised at meetings of the cabinet core committee, though grievances on government matters could be taken up with the Chief Minister. Questions had earlier been raised on the sanctity of cabinet core committee meetings, as matters discussed there were often also revealed to the public.

After the recent electoral setbacks, the Left Front leaders endorsed a detailed programme to take the Left’s campaign to the grass-roots with the purpose of strengthening the Left Front’s relations with the people.