Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker and one CPI-M's top ranking leaders, Somnath Chatterjee has hit out against the tactical position taken by the CPI-M leadership not to have any electoral alliance with the Congress.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Chatterjee blamed the party's former general secretary Prakash Karat for the mess. "Had Sitaram resigned on Sunday following the voting process, the party would have been on the path of being obliterated. He has been trying hard to put the pieces together, but there is a limit to tolerance," said Chatterjee.
It was a decade since he was expelled from the party for voicing his displeasure over the CPM voting against the United Progressive Alliance that the long-term parliamentarian, sounded upset with the latest decision: "In a sense, Karat's victory is Modi's victory. Under the previous general secretary, the party was on the course of extinction. All his decisions and policies cost the party a lot. And it started when he refused to allow Jyoti Basu to become the Prime Minister, followed by his decision of withdrawing support from UPA".
He added that this was the time when the party members should seriously think about its continuance as a serious political entity and provide protection to peole from the disruptive and destructive forces like the BJP and TMC and give them a different narrative.
Preferring to call himself an independent observer, Chatterjee opined that it is extremely essential for the Communist Party to ally with the Congress to oppse BJP. People are boycottting CPM, he said, and so the party cannot do it alone. He cited the fall in numbers of CPM's party's parliamentary representation, and expressed the apprehension that in the current situation it may go further down. "The former general secretary has been successful in creating a situation to control the party even at the risk of losing support of the general masses."
He commented on the party's position in West Bengal also saying that he never heard the party was seriously analyzing the reasons of the reason in its support base. Most of the party leaders were bound to the office and supported the cadres who were being beaten. "In fact, I have heard that many of the important functionaries in West Bengal sided with Prakash Karat" he said.
Chatterjee expressed the feeling that while Sitaram Yechuri made efforts to forge an electoral understanding with Congress, the party's strong and ruling lobbies in Kerala and Tripura went against its general secretary's draft and supported Karat's draft. "The 31-55 vote that went against general secretary is perhaps the first such open challenge to Yechuri's candidature and it led to his proposal to resign."