Under attack over successive electoral losses, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Tuesday refused to quit his post saying he alone will not take the responsibility for the massive debacle in West Bengal.
“It has nothing to do with individuals or individual units of the party. As I said, it depends on where we are politically, whether we have the correct approach.
“So neither will I take credit for 2006 [West Bengal Assembly polls when Left won 233 of the 294 seats], nor will take responsibility alone for 2011,” he told TV channels when asked whether he would take responsibility for the defeat in West Bengal. He said it just did not depend on individuals. .
“It's the organisation and we have our methods of reviewing and correcting if there are any mistakes or distortions,” he said.
Murmurs of protest
There were murmurs of protest, especially in the West Bengal and the Kerala units of the party, against Mr. Karat over the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls after the Left withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal.
Maintaining that the entire party was concerned about West Bengal, he said: “The central leadership, from the top — which includes me — has to take responsibility for this defeat and see how we can get out of it.”
Asked whether at any point he felt like quitting, he said as Communists they spend their whole life working for a cause and do not think of stepping out of the movement.
When pressed further whether he felt like quitting from the post of general secretary, Mr. Karat said, “That's for my party to decide. We will discuss this matter. We will continue to have collective leadership.
‘Does not decide
on his own'
“After all, the general secretary is one among the Polit Bureau who is supposed to work as the spokesperson of the Polit Bureau. He does not decide matters on his own. But there is sometimes necessity to bring a change and that will be done in the party if it is required.”
In case the party concludes that its policy or line was wrong, “then the responsibility will lie with the leadership. It lies with the Polit Bureau, it will lie with the general secretary and it will lie with the Central Committee,” he said.
Observing that the electoral tactic was an outcome of the CPI(M)'s policy, he said: “If we find something wrong, we will take responsibility.”
Asked what that would entail, Mr. Karat said: “That we will decide in our party forum. If we have to formulate a new line, who could do it, who should be in the leadership, we will decide in due course of time.” — PTI