The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reality class by CPM big wigs

Calcutta, Nov. 3: Realising that the party’s aggressive courting of the private sector and chasing private capital to industrialise Bengal have confused ministers and apparatchiks alike, the CPM has decided to hold a brain-storm session to offer a clear-cut idea on the issues to its members.

A measure of the importance of the upcoming session can be had from the line-up of speakers. The three-day session that will begin on November 15 will be addressed by Prakash Karat, CPM state secretary Anil Biswas and Left Front chairman Biman Bose, all politburo members.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the pivot of the government’s campaign for industrialisation, ministers, CPM parliamentarians and panchayat functionaries will attend the session, party officials said today.

Even after updating the party programme in the Thiruvananthapuram congress, signalling willingness to adapt to changing political and economic scenarios, a significant section of the CPM, rooted in ideology, has continued to resist change and oppose the Bhattacharjee government’s disinvestment programme.

This will be the first time senior politburo members would address ministers and other party functionaries to remove their confusion on issues like welcoming private funds and inviting industry to partner the government in joint ventures.

There are differences within the CPM leadership over the state government’s decision to close down two government undertakings and initiating a move to convince the private sector to run 10 sick units of the government as joint venture.

Sunderban Sugarbeat was closed down as the government felt it was not viable and could not be revived anyway.

It is learnt that the politburo members will meet the panchayat functionaries specially and give them tips on how to tackle public criticism regarding the government’s moves to close down its units.

The panchayat elections are scheduled for next May and before that the leadership feels it must remove the confusions. The CPM is up in arms against the BJP-led coalition in Delhi for closing down the Central Public Sector Units but the party-led government here is following the same formula to revive industry, a section of the party feels.

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