Calcutta, Sept. 6: Top leaders of the CPM today faced flak from a section in the party that said the poor showing in many districts in the panchayat polls was because of “lack of leadership and social disconnect”, sources said.
At least three front-ranking CPM leaders said at today’s state committee meeting that Alimuddin Street was yet to realise that the rank and file and even a section of the electorate wanted a change of leadership, the sources added.
“Some of our senior leaders said the highest leadership could not evade responsibility for the panchayat poll debacle. Without naming anybody, they said the top leaders had failed to provide proper direction to the party and that had impacted the rural poll results,” a CPM state secretariat member said.
Asked if there was a call for a change of guard at Alimuddin Street, the leader said: “The leadership cannot be changed overnight. But the message was given today that a change was needed. Three of our leaders pointed out that even the man on the street understood that a new generation should come up.”
A leader from South 24-Parganas questioned the credibility of the state leadership in the face of repeated electoral debacles since 2008, the sources said. Several speakers are said to have echoed him.
Leaders in central Bengal, where the poll results have been particularly poor, were also criticised today.
“We faced Trinamul terror across the state. Despite that, we did reasonably well in some south Bengal districts. But we fared badly in central Bengal, once our bastion, because our organisation didn’t work properly. Many party members have become inactive in these districts,” a leader said.
“Such organisational shortcomings led to poor results. Our party leaders failed to re-forge links with the people,” the leader added.
A CPM leader said many who attended today’s session sought to know if a change in leadership was needed in West and East Midnapore, Burdwan, Bankura and Purulia.
The leaders under the scanner are Amal Haldar, Dipak Sarkar, Kanu Sahu and Amiya Patra, the CPM secretaries of Burdwan, West Midnapore, East Midnapore and Bankura, respectively.