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Biman prod to old guard

Krishnagar, Dec. 29: CPM state secretary Biman Bose today urged “elderly and ailing party comrades” to make way for younger leaders, saying they were standing in the way of mass movements.

“Elderly and ailing party comrades are increasingly becoming a problem these days. This stands in the way of younger people joining our party. As a result, our mass movements, which were once the backbone of the party, are getting affected,” Bose told a seminar on Jyoti Basu’s “role in mass movement and promotion of democracy” in Krishnagar this afternoon.

The veteran CPM leader, himself 74, referred to an anecdote related to the late chief minister to buttress his point.

“In 1957, when Basu was chosen as the party’s state secretary despite being an elected member of the legislative Assembly, he urged Muzaffar Ahmed (founder member of the communist party) to relieve him of one of the responsibilities so that he could concentrate on party work properly. Muzaffar Ahmed did not give him the exemption, but asked Somnath Lahiri to share the party work with Basu,” Bose recalled.

By referring to Basu’s episode, the CPM leader apparently tried to drive home the point that if somebody in the party felt he could not perform, he or she could relinquish the responsibility so that others step in to do the job.

Jyotibabu aparog boley ta tini pariskar bolechilen je duto dayitya parben na. Kintu ekhon party te oneke acchen jara saririk bhave aksham holeo bolenna je ami parchi na. Jyoti babur theke eder siksha neoa uchit (Jyotibabu made it clear that he was not unable to handle twin responsibilities. But these days, elderly comrades don’t do that despite their physical ailments do. They should learn from Basu),” said Bose.

Calling upon party leaders to follow Basu’s ideals, he said one should voluntarily declare he is unable to discharge responsibilities because of failing health. Bose has been at the helm of the party’s state committee since 2006.

The CPM has over 3.5 lakh members in the state. Nearly 60,000 of them are above 60, according to state secretariat member Rabin Deb.