Karat wont quit, CPM decides after historic defeat

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 20 2009, 04:25am hrs
The CPI(M) politburo on Monday refused to blame its worst-ever election performance on either party general secretary Prakash Karat or Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Emerging from the meeting, politburo members Nirupam Sen and Manik Sarkar said: There is no question of Karats resignation. Sen also trashed as baseless and absolute rumours reports that Bhattacharjee had offered to quit taking responsibility for the Bengal catastrophe. Left Front chairman Biman Bose, also a politburo member, said the reports were rubbish.

In Kolkata, Bhattacharjee himself said absolutely nothing on the subject, ignoring repeated questions by reporters as he walked to his office at the state secretariat. Bhattacharjees absence from the politburo meeting in Delhi had raised questions especially after open criticism of the policies of the party leadership by Bengal comrades.

Asked if Mamata Banerjees victory after her protests had driven the Nano out of Bengal suggested voters in the state had rejected the CPI(M)s policy of industrialisation, Sen, who is Bengals minister for industry, said: I dont think the people are against industry. These were all-India elections. State-level issues had an impact on the poll results.

Sen added, Those who are now forming the government at the Centre should try to take forward industrialisation throughout the country. We expect West Bengal to grow. Industries in Bengal should also develop.

Besides Karat, Sen, Sarkar and Bose, the politburo meeting was attended by Sitaram Yechury, Pinarayi Vijayan, M K Pandhe, S R Pillai and V S Achuthanandan.

The politburo issued a statement accusing the Trinamool Congress of unleashing violence against Left workers in Bengal with the intention of deliberately provoking police intervention and destabilise the Left Front government.

The aim behind the (pre-poll and post-poll) violence unleashed primarily by the Trinamool Congress is to terrorise CPI(M) supporters and drive them out of selected areas, the politburo statement said.