According to reports district committees have sent to the state party headquarters following the debacle in the recent Lok Sabha polls, cadres across the state have distanced themselves from regular party work since they are no more confident about their party’s prospects in the near future.
“The leaders at the helm have no clear message for the cadres,” said a senior leader of the party. “There is no sign of rejuvenation among the frustrated cadres though the state headquarters has held a series of meetings and workshops for them,” said the leader.
One such workshop was organised by the Kolkata district committee of the party on Sunday, which was well attended.
Of the 3,20,000-odd CPM card-holders in Bengal, at least 60 per cent are inactive, said a source at the Alimuddin Street-based state CPM headquarters, hinting that the trend is evident in Kolkata, North and South 24-Parganas, East Midnapore and Howrah — all known strongholds of the Trinamool Congress. Apart from these five districts, party cadres cannot function regularly in Maoist-hit West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, sources said.
The bypolls due on November 7 for 10 Assembly constituencies are being seen as an acid test for the party’s rank-and-file. In most of these seats, Left Front candidates face one-on-one fight with the Congress-Trinamool alliance.
“It will be very difficult to regain Belgachhia (East) constituency where the party has nominated Ramola Chakraborty, wife of late Subhas Chakraborty. The party has information that a section of cadres is still inactive in the area,” said a leader.
Earlier, in Bowbazar bypoll, the CPM-backed candidate had forfeited her security deposit since cadres were largely aloof. With large-scale inactivity, the party has decided to hold meetings in all South Bengal districts where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and party state secretary Biman Bose will address party cadres.
Party worker killed at Binpur
A CPM activist was killed last night at Binpur in West Midnapore by some unidentified miscreants.
Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, said Maoists might not be involved in the killing as they have not claimed responsibility so far. The police have started an investigation, Verma said.
According to the police, five-six miscreants attacked the house of Sital Hembram, a CPM activist, at Ergoda village. Sital was called out from his house at midnight and taken to a field, where he was allegedly killed with a sharp weapon. He was also fired at, as there was bullet injury on his body. According to the police, Margal Saren, a DYFI leader, was killed at Binpur two months ago in a clash with Jharkhand Party activists. A Jharkhand Party activist was also killed in the incident and Sital was one of the witnesses. Police said Sital’s murder could be a fallout of the incident.
CPM man shot dead in Rajarhat
A CPM worker, Subir Ali Mollah, was shot dead last night, allegedly by miscreants backed by the Trinamool Congress, at Thakdari in Rajarhat, North 24-Parganas.
After Mollah’s death, CPM supporters blocked the Rajarhat-New Town Road for hours. “An FIR has been lodged by Mollah’s family members and his party. Our investigation is on. Policemen have been posted in the area,” said Rahul Srivastav, Superintendent of Police, North 24-Parganas.
The police said 27-year-old Mollah was a DYFI worker. Yesterday, he took part in a DYFI rally in Rajarhat. Later in the evening, when he was returning home, miscreants attacked him. He was shot from close range. Following the incident, senior CPM leaders rushed to the spot and supporters blocked road for five hours. CPM supporters also protested near the Rajarhat police station.
“Mollah was a dedicated worker and was very active in the area. He was one of those who have submitted a deputation in New Town police station recently, highlighting the atrocities committed by the Trinamool. He was killed by Trinamool-backed miscreants,” said CPM MP Amitava Nandy. Nandy also alleged that for the last few months, Trinamool-backed miscreants have been targeting CPM supporters and workers in Rajarhat-Newtown area, trying to establish control over the area.
Trinamool leaders, however, said the youth was murdered due to in-party rivalry. “The youth was murdered because of infighting between groups in the CPM. Now, it is trying to get political mileage out of the incident,” said Jyotipriya Mullick, a district Trinamool leader.