The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM rues distance with people
- War on party corruption to continue: Anil

Calcutta, Dec. 7: Soul-searching continues within the CPM on the threshold of its 21st state conference.

The party leadership has admitted that its mainstay ' labourers of the unorganised sector, daily wage earners, slum dwellers and others like them ' no longer consider the party 'as their sympathiser' though they might still be listening to its leaders and even voting for them.

'Our party does not have close contact with the urban and the rural poor in many areas. On many occasions, we reach these classes but we don't concentrate our activities among them through the year. Our daily contact with these people is inadequate. Probably these people vote for our party, listen to what we say, but they don't consider CPM as their sympathiser,' a candid Anil Biswas, the CPM state secretary, said in a recently published party document.

'It is seen that we are moving door-to-door, holding group meetings and hat sabhas (meetings at market places) during election campaigns. But we don't follow this practice round the year. We have said earlier also that our rivals are reaching the people with the help of a section of the media and we should not ignore this development,' Biswas warned.

The document, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, also made it clear that the fight against corruption within the party will find prominence during the state conference at Kamarhati in North 24-Parganas in February.

CPM insiders said the leaders are annoyed with reports against a section of leaders, who, by taking advantage of their position in the party, are trying to influence the administration to extract advantage for themselves or for their close relatives.

Taking up another boiling issue of conciliation meetings, he said: 'The CPM is now the ruling party. People often come to us to sort out different problems faced by them. We have to handle such cases in such a manner that our solutions to these issues are acceptable to both parties. While handling such cases, we have to keep in mind the fact that we are not playing the role of a court of law, but trying to help people as their friends.'

The document also mentions the purge in the party. Some anti-socials have found a place in the party because of encouragement by a section of leaders, it says.

Biswas said these anti-social elements were finding place in the party due to factional feud, which had reached dangerous levels sometime back. But is now under control due to measures taken by the party.

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