Special Correspondent

“What is needed is to win back lost friends and to keep finding new friends”

Kolkata: The Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s West Bengal State Committee that met here over two sessions on Sunday to review the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, warned of attempts by its opponents to make the Left Front government dysfunctional by hindering pro-people programmes and by creating anarchy in the State.

The next Assembly elections are due in two years when the CPI(M) along with its Left partners will be up against a Trinamool Congress-led Opposition whose claim that the Left Front “has lost its right to rule” is reaching a crescendo.

The CPI(M)’s State Committee meeting was held less than a week after the party’s Polit Bureau observed that both national and State-specific factors were responsible for the dismal performance of the party.

It had recently underlined the need for a “self-critical” approach by the party’s State Committees, while making a “serious examination” of the reasons behind the electoral reverses.

This was reiterated at the meeting. Among those present were West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and party’s State Committee secretary Biman Bose. Benoy Konar, a member of the party’s central committee, presided.

The CPI(M) won nine of the 32 seats it had contested in the State — its worst showing since it led the Left Front to power here 32 years ago.

The CPI(M)’s State Committee observed that in no way could the faults that might have existed in the functioning of the party, the Left Front, the State government, the panchayats and municipalities be condoned. There was need to pay greater attention to address the shortcomings and to engage in intensive interactions with the people.

What is necessary is “to win back lost friends and to keep finding new friends,” the CPI(M)’s State Committee said.

People at the national level had not accepted the slogan of a Third Front as an alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party for a stable government at the Centre, the CPI(M)’s State Committee noted.

The meeting marked the beginning of a process of rectifying the shortcomings in the party at the organisational level and trying to determine the lapses in its pre-poll political strategies.

A preliminary scrutiny of the party’s performance in the districts was placed by the CPI(M)’s different district secretaries and taken up for discussion.

The party’s district committees will have further discussions and will be reporting back to the State Committee that meets again in the second week of June for a detailed review of the electoral reverses.