With Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee deciding to stay away from the 20th party congress that gets underway in this coastal town of Kerala on Wednesday,an uneasy CPM central leadership may be forced to grapple with a difficult question whether to pay heed to the former Bengal chief minister’s wish and ease him out of the politburo and central committee.
The central committee met on Tuesday and was informed about Bhattacharjee’s decision to stay away from the six-day conclave. Sources said there was no discussion about his absence.
Ever since the partys defeat in Bengal,Bhattacharjee has not attended meetings of the politburo and central committee held outside Kolkata,citing health reasons. The central committee had obliged after he sought permission to stay away from its meetings. His absence from party meetings outside Kolkata and gradual withdrawal from too much of party work has often fuelled media speculation that he and the bosses at the A K G Bhawan have not reconciled their differences.
Sources said the draft of the confidential political-organisational report,which would be presented before the congress,makes a mention that some of the tactics adopted by the party (read leadership) had resulted in bringing together of its enemies. The Bengal leadership had been pointing fingers at the bosses in Delhi over the tactics adopted by it over the Indo-US nuclear deal. It did not result in blockage of the deal or fall of the UPA as expected,but brought the Congress and Trinamool together in Bengal.
Though there has been no discussion on Bhattacharjees continued absence,some leaders admit in private that it has become a “point of concern” which needs to be addressed. Since he has cited health reasons,they say if that was so then a solution should be worked out like making him a special invitee to the central committee or politburo. Some point out that Bhattacharjee offered to step down from the top decision making bodies taking moral responsibility after the election rout.