With the Left finishing at number 3 in the recently concluded assembly polls, the split within the CPM seems to have grown wider, with party leaders divided on the reasons for the poor performance.
While Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya said the “Siliguri Model” — the original basis for the Left-Congress alliance — shouldn’t be discarded, an article in the Left mouthpiece Ganashakti blamed the BJP for the party’s defeat in the state, a stance dismissed by a section of CPM leaders as “antithetical to reality”.
On Friday, CPM MLA Bhattacharya, who defeated TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia from Siliguri, had said, “We have proved that the strategy (Left-Congress alliance) can work. There is no reason to belittle it. There are many leaders in the Left Front who had initially refused to accept the theory of allying with the Congress… But we have proved in three consecutive elections that an indomitable political force like Trinamool can be defeated in Siliguri.”
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Bhattacharya’s comments came after a section of the Bengal CPM came under attack from various quarters over the decision to form an alliance with Congress.
However, an article in Ganashakti reiterated the stance of CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, alleging that the “unofficial understanding” between the BJP and Trinamool Congress was responsible for their defeat. Without commenting on the future of the alliance, Mishra had said, “They (BJP and TMC) have adjusted at least 10-12 seats among themselves… This is a dangerous sign. To counter this, the relevance and importance of a Left, democratic and secular alliance is not fading but growing.”
Meanwhile, a section of CPM leaders dubbed the party’s stand on its defeat as “antithetical to reality”. “I don’t understand where such ideas are coming from. To say that the BJP did well and hence we were defeated is antithetical to reality. By doing well, BJP did their job,” a senior CPM leader said. “We made mistakes and miscalculated the situation. To blame the opposition is just making it worse. The time to shirk responsibility is over.”