Has CPM already conceded defeat in West Bengal?

via Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri /DNA published on March 21, 2010

Kolkata: The West Bengal (WB) assembly election is next year, but the CPI(M) appears to have already conceded defeat. At least a unique training programme launched by the party suggests so.

The CPI(M) is training middle- and lower-level leaders and cadres in the state to be a good opposition.The signal is clear. The leadership has realised that retaining power in West Bengal after the 2011 poll would be difficult and is trying innovative methods to discourage cadres from deserting the party in such an eventuality.

Anticipating an exodus by party leaders and workers not used to being out of power, the CPI(M) is trying to make the point that sitting in opposition is not as difficult as it appears, provided they learnt how to operate in a changed political scenario.

A senior CPI(M) state committee leader told DNA that the training was necessary since a majority of party workers had no experience of being powerless.

“Most of the current members joined the party post 1977, when the Left Front first assumed power in West Bengal. So, they have never been in the opposition. Naturally, there is the fear that leaders and workers may change camps if there is defeat. So, we are trying to convince young cadres that there is nothing wrong in being in the opposition,” he said.

A senior central committee leader of the party said the training programme was only for West Bengal and was not applicable to the other Left-ruled states of Kerala and Tripura.

“Being out power in Kerala is nothing new for us. In that state, power changes hands every five years. The balance of ruling and opposition is already there. In the case of Tripura, there is neither an election ahead nor has there been any erosion in our mass base in recent times. But the case of West Bengal is different. The Left Front has been in power in the state for a record almost 34 years. So, this training is necessary,” he said.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_has-cpm-already-conceded-defeat-in-west-bengal_1359951

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