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CPM swipe at old brigade clinging to posts

Calcutta, March 14: The CPM's frontal organisations, including its formidable labour arm Citu and the farmers' wing, are suffering from dominance of 'spent' leaders who monopolise power and prevent the second tier from rising, says a party document.

In the paper prepared after last month's party conference and released today, the leadership has pointed out how a section of Citu has grabbed posts and offices in affiliate bodies violating ideological principles and administrative norms.

Key leaders like Jyoti Basu, Subhas Chakraborty, Shyamal Chakraborty, Nirupam Sen and Mrinal Das now hold positions in scores of Citu-led unions in multiple sectors.

In its soul searching, the party has sought to attack the deficiencies reflected in the trend by announcing its resolve to bar members from occupying positions in over five executive committees of trade union bodies.

The party has also expressed concern over a leader holding two key positions within the party. 'No minister, secretary of a district unit or an MP is entitled to hold the post of president or secretary in any district or state unit of any frontal organisation,' the document says.

'Within the next three months, a scrutiny will be held by respective party units to find out how many Citu leaders are holding more than five posts. Those found involved with over five unions will be asked to convey with which five unions they want to continue.'

However, the party has also clarified in the document there will be an exception to the rule. If a trade union considers a particular leader important for its survival, it will be free to retain him or her.

According to the party brass, many functionaries continue to occupy multiple posts in office or factory units affiliated to the Citu in various sectors post-retirement. 'A section of trade union activists are clinging to key positions in the union leadership even after retirement. This trend prevents growth of the trade union front and fresh blood cannot be injected,' says the document.

The party has also pointed out that many trade union and frontal units become 'personal property' of a leader or a group. 'It has often been noticed that the aspirations of the workers, farmers and labourers or what they want are ignored while taking major decisions'

The leadership has also taken a dig at the trade union front saying its leaders are reluctant to participate in social reforms apart from 'organising blood donation camps'.

The leaders have also acknowledged a decline in the number of party whole-timers. In the last state conference, they numbered 3,350. It is 3,219 after the February conference.

State CPM secretary Anil Biswas said tonight the whole- timers would now be chosen from among educated youths who are party members for at least 10 years.

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