The Communist Party of India-Marxist took stock of its worst electoral performance since its inception in 1964 but refused to put the blame on its general secretary Prakash Karat or West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
The party Polit Bureau meeting, which saw Bhattarcharjee skipping it amid reports that he has offered to quit following the poll debacle in the state, saw the presence of all other members. As reports suggested that knives were out for Karat in the party, senior Polit Bureau members, who attended the meeting, said there was no question of the general secretary quitting the post.
"There is no question of Karat's resignation," politburo members Nirupam Sen and Manik Sarkar told reporters after the meeting. Sen thrashed as "baseless and absolute rumours" reports of Bhattacharjee quitting the chief ministership taking responsibility for the debacle in Bengal. Asked whether people have rejected the industrialisation policy, he said, "I don't think the people are against industry. These were all India elections. State-level issues had an impact on the poll results."
Sen said every party says that they want industrialisation and, therefore, we expect a responsible rolefrom them. "Those who are now forming government at the Centre should try to take forward industrialisation throughout the country. We expect West Bengal to grow. Industries in Bengal should also develop," he added.
Bhattacharjee, who along with veteran leader Jyoti Basu had voiced their reservations over the Left's decision to withdraw support to the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal issue, is said to be upset over the party's routin the state.
Politburo member and Left Front chairman Biman Bose described the reports on Bhattacharjee offering to step downas "rubbish". "Bhattacharjee is not attending the meeting as he has informed the party that he cannot leave Kolkata due to the prevailing post-poll law and order situation," party sources said.
Besides Bose, those attending the meeting are CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Nirupam Sen, Pinarayi Vijayan, M K Pandhe, S R Pillai and Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tripura, V S Achuthanandan and Manik Sarkar respectively.