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Voiceless, rudderless West Bengal CPI(M) laments losing Yechury as RS MP

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 16 August 2017, 17:57 IST
(AFP Photo/Diptendu Dutta)

Once considered invincible, the CPI(M) is now facing an existential crisis in West Bengal. On one hand the party is under threat from a dominant Trinamool Congress and a rising BJP. On the other hand, it doesn’t have enough voices to raise their demands in Parliament.

Given these circumstances, many in the CPI(M) are saying that the party made a big mistake in not renominating Sitaram Yechury to the Rajya Sabha. In the process, the party lost a prominent voice in the Upper House and also alienated its ally, the Congress, which wanted to nominate Yechury with the support of its MLAs. To make matters worse, the Congress candidate Pradip Bhattacharya won with the support of the TMC.

According to some senior CPI(M) leaders, at a time when the TMC has assumed a dominant position in West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee has emerged as the tallest leader from the state, there is a need for a strong CPI(M) voice that can speak out against the TMC’s policies in Parliament. Yechury would have been ideal, given his oratorical skills and his national stature.

“Yechury’s absence will now give an edge to the TMC in the Rajya Sabha as they will now have a monopoly over raising issues from the state,” a senior CPI(M) leader told Catch.

But it isn’t just the TMC that is playing on the CPI(M)’s mind.

“BJP is trying to gain a foothold in West Bengal by creating a communal divide among people. It is a serious problem and the present government has failed to tackle communal violence in various places. This CPI(M) should have raised this nationally. But this has now become difficult with Yechury no longer in Parliament,” another leader said.

Many CPI(M) leaders feel that the Politburo has created resentment against the party at a crucial time when it is trying to revive itself in West Bengal by inducting fresh faces and carrying out door-to-door campaigns.

 “We have already put forward our views in the state committee meeting and these have been communicated to the Politburo. We have also urged them that there is a need for a strong voice from the party in Parliament to speak against the communal politics of the BJP and TMC,” a leader said.

According to senior leader Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, “We have already discussed the problems that the party is facing because of the loss of representation in the Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile we have strengthened our campaign on the ground ahead of the Panchayat elections scheduled next year”.

First published: 16 August 2017, 17:57 IST