Kolkata: Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is likely to step down from the CPM politburo, according to sources on Sunday. The veteran Marxist has purportedly written a letter to party general secretary Prakash Karat conveying his wish to abdicate from the CPM’s highest decision-making body.
Bhattacharjee has cited illness as the reason behind his unwillingness to continue in the politburo.
Bhattacharjee is also not keen to attend the upcoming CPM party Congress in Kozhikode. He has cited ‘chronic obstructive pulmonary’ complications as the reason behind his ill-health and inability to travel out of the city for party meetings. Rumours are rife that the leader may also quit the CPM central committee.
Bhattacharjee has been staying away from attending the politburo meetings in the recent past, after the party was decimated in West Bengal. Senior CPM leaders in the state, such as Biman Bose and Nirupam Sen, have been trying to convince the stalwart to change his decision. If Bhattacharjee succeeds in quitting, he could possibly make way for Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Surjya Kanta Mishra.
In fact, Karat had travelled to Kolkata on March 15 to convince Bhattacharjee to attend the party congress that is set to kick off on April 4. Sources say that Bhattacharjee had been adamant on his decision to forego the party congress.
Bhattacharjee told a regional news channel on Sunday that the TMC was suffering from intolerance. “They (TMC) cannot tolerate political parties like the CPM and that is why they are divesting powers of the CPM-controlled zilla parishads to district magistrates,” said Bhattacharjee, adding that ‘a strong Left-democratic base is a must to bring in non-Congress, non-BJP forces’ into the fray.
“If the Left alternative has to gain ground in the country, it will need to win over the confidence of the people who have been behind the rise of regional parties…,” he added.