Karat says Third Front still relevant, wants to remodel it


Kolkata: Conceding that the Third Front experiment has failed, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Friday said there was a need to remodel it as the formation’s utility still remained.

Support TwoCircles

“Utility of the Third Front is still there. We have to remodel it,” Karat said on the concluding day of the two-day meeting of the party’s West Bengal state committee, which discussed the defeat of the state’s ruling CPI-M-led Left Front in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

The state committee pointed out that the call for the alternative Third Front government did not earn the confidence of people.

“As such, we have faced reverses in some states. This has been reflected in West Bengal poll results too,” state CPI-M secretary Biman Bose told newspersons.

Bose said issues such as the party’s electoral tactics and all related matters will come up for discussion in a meeting of the party’s politburo – the highest policymaking body – on June 19 and the central committee on June 20-21.

“I will refrain from passing any comment on our all India tactics and national issues which will be deliberated upon in these meetings,” he said.

To a query on the party’s relations with the central government in which the Trinamool Congress is a constituent, Bose said: “Such issues are not discussed in the state committee meeting. The meeting did not discuss it.

“But I would like to point out that the government role does not depend on who is with it or who is not. It is the government for the entire country.”

Describing the results as “unexpected”, the party identified a clutch of reasons for the debacle which saw the LF win only 15 seats in West Bengal, while conceding 27 to the opposition parties. The Trinamool won 19 seats, the Congress six, and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) one each.

The party said the Congress-Trinamool alliance got additional impetus from the two years of lawlessness created in the state by a combination of parties from the extreme Left to the extreme rightwing under the Trinamool’s leadership.

It also admitted that activities of a ‘small section’ of cadres who had deviated from the communist principles formed one of the prime reasons for the defeat.

“The behaviour, lifestyle of a section of our activists are among the deviations. They have become victims of a new-liberal society. But such deviations are not rampant,” Bose said.

Naming organisational weakness as one of the contributory factors, Bose said the ruling alliance failed to counter the campaign issues raised by the opposition. “There were shortcomings on our part in carrying out intensive mass contact programmes.”

Bose said 53 state committee members participated in the “frank” discussions to pinpoint the reasons.

“With all humility, we accept people’s verdict. Our task now is to unite the poor against the conspiracies of the forces of separatism and isolation as also the reactionary forces, both from the country and abroad,” he said.

The meeting also chalked out future agitational programmes and said the party will hit the streets to protect democracy and people’s rights which were being threatened by the “forces of lawlessness”.

Bose said the party will agitate on issues like extension of the Public Distribution System, in overcoming the delays and probelsm in giving scheduled caste/scheduled tribe certificates and also for minority development and rural electrification.

Another state committee meeting will be held in the coming days to discuss the party organisation, and the inconveniences faced by the people due to administrative shortcomings and sloth.