Left fumes on Buddha remarks

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 27 | Updated: Aug 29 2008, 05:04am hrs
Though well received at the industry circles, the CPI(M) and the Left parties are fuming at West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his remarks against their pet forms of strugglesbandhs and hartals. The CPI(M) central leadership has taken the chief ministers statement very seriously and the issue would be discussed at the meeting of the partys politburo scheduled in the first week of September. Bhattacharjee is a member of the politburo.

Bhattacharjees critics in the CPI(M) hopes that the central leadership of the party will take a note of the gravity of the situation and take necessary actions against the leader. CPI(M)s Lok Sabha MP from Kannur AP Abdullakkutti was recently censured publicly by the Kerala unit of the party for making similar statements against hartals. The young MP of the party had said that hartals will alienate people from party and industrialists will doubt before making any investment in the state.

I dont think he had expressed such an opinion. If he had said so, then it is wrong, veteran Marxist and Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram. Sources in the CPI(M) said that there is a strong resentment against Bhattacharjees remarks within various units of the CPI(M). Even in West Bengal it is apparent, a senior leader said.

Bandhs do not help the country, Bhattacharjee had said at programme organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata.

Along with the CPI(M) leaders, Left front allies are also unhappy with Bhattacharjee's open criticism against bandhs, hartals and gheraos. The Left leaders asked the CPI(M) to question its leaders motive to make such a statement.

His choice of place for giving such comments was not proper. If at all he had some differences with hartals and strikes, he could have expressed them at a party forum or in a trade union function. I don't know why he chose the chamber of commerce, general secretary of Forward Bloc Debabrata Biswas told FE. Now it is up to the CPI(M) to decide on the chief minister's views. I don't think the working class will listen to Bhattacherjees view points, Biswas added.

Expressing surprise at the remarks, CPI national secretary D Raja said: Staging bandhs is a democratic right. How can it be curbed RSP leader and MP Abani Roy asked the CPI(M) leadership to question Bhattacharjee for what he said. Workers have the right to strike. Its the only weapon for them to demand their rights, Roy added.