Major differences over CPI(M)’s alliance with Congress in West Bengal cropped up at the Left party’s Central Committee meeting, with the party on Monday expelling a senior member and the 101-member decision-making body saying that the move was not in accordance with its political line.
The first Central Committee (CC) meeting, held after the Left’s rout in West Bengal, is understood to have witnessed a large number of members opposing the tie-up, as the party expelled CC member and AIDWA General Secretary Jagmati Sangwan, who claimed to be one of the opponents of the tie-up, for “gross indiscipline”.
“The CC concluded that the electoral tactics adopted in West Bengal was not in consonance with the Central Committee decision not to have an alliance or understanding with the Congress,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters in New Delhi on conclusion of the 3-day meeting.
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The CC also said the decision “should be rectified” and added that “the importance of adhering to the political-tactical line adopted at the 21st Congress of the Party.”
The CC authorised the Politburo “to ensure its implementation in consultation with the state leadership of the party,” Yechury said. The political-tactical line adopted at the 21st party congress had spoken of forging a Left, democratic alliance in the states.
However, it had also spoken of “flexible tactics” to meet new, emerging situations.
The day also saw the expulsion of Sangwan, with a party statement saying “the Central Committee of the CPI(M) now in session in New Delhi has decided to expel Jagmati Sangwan (member of the Central Committee) from the primary membership of the Party for gross indiscipline.”
However, Sangwan maintained she had announced in the meeting itself that she was quitting the party and all posts.
Reacting to her expulsion, she said “I told the meeting it was a wrong decision to have the tie-up which was a violation of the party’s political-tactical line.”
“The political-tactical line and democratic centralism are the life-line of a communist party which have to be maintained at all cost,” Sangwan, who led the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), said.