KOLKATA: With the CPI(M) fast losing its importance in Bengal politics, the party is all set to revamp its party organisation by removing ageing leaders and inducting more young faces, a senior party leader said.
The party, struggling to even win local elections, has already inducted over 300 young people in 23 districts of the state, replacing more than 70 per cent of the leaders aged between 60 and 80 years, he said.
The leadership hopes that the drive would help it in putting up a fight against the ruling Trinamool Congress and the resurgent BJP, which is trying to replace the Left Front and the Congress as the main opposition in the state.
“At all levels of the state leadership, right from the area committee, the average age of the members will be brought down,” CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said.
The CPI(M) leadership is likely to remove those above 75 from the state committee, the state secretariat and various district committees.
However, the party is likely to make exceptions for CPI(M) politburo member Biman Bose and former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
According to party sources, Bhattacharya has already expressed his desire to step down from the state committee citing ill health.
But senior party leaders said, Bhattacharya should remain a member of the highest decision making body in the state as his presence makes a ‘huge difference” in the state committee.
A senior CPI(M) state committee leader said, “Leaders in various committees who are 75 or above will be removed from the committees.
“Though the rule does not apply for Biman Bose as he is still fit and agile and is regular at all the party meetings and conferences.”
Several state and central committee members from the state are likely to be dropped on grounds of age and ill health, the leader said.
The party during its last Plenum held in Kolkata in December 2015, had decided to bring in more young people into the party. It was also decided that one third members of all the committees should be below 35.
“The new leaders who have been inducted are below the age of 45. Several district committees have new secretaries,” he said.
Explaining the reason behind bringing in younger people into the party, the CPI(M) leader said the party needs them to resist the growth of “fascist” forces such as the BJP-RSS.
“If we want to fight the RSS-BJP, then it has to be done both ideologically and on ground. And it will be our youth leaders who will take on the BJP-RSS on the ground through more and more mass contact,” the leader said.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front which had ruled West Bengal for 34 years till 2011, has not only failed to put up a resistance againt the TMC regime but has also lost its political ground to BJP.
Although, the CPI(M) hopes to revive its fortune by inducting young people, the opposition BJP and ruling TMC feels it is a “futile exercise” as the people are no longer interested in the Left and its policies.
“The people of Bengal have seen the misrule of the Left for 34 years and they are no longer interested in them,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI.
Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the people of Bengal are with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.