CPI-M rules out advancing West Bengal assembly polls


Kolkata: West Bengal’s ruling Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday ruled out advancing the state assembly polls slated for 2011 in the wake of the combine suffering a string of electoral defeats.

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“The election will take place as scheduled. It will not be preponed,” Industries Minister Nirupam Sen told reporters.

Sen’s comments came a day after the Left Front’s dismal show in by-polls to ten assembly seats, where it managed to win only one, with the CPI-M drawing a blank despite being in the fray in five constituencies.

The LF’s poor performance triggered a call from its partner, West Bengal Socialist Party leader and Fisheries Minister Kirnamoy Nanda for advancing the state elections.

Nanda’s comments were a virtual echo of the LF’s bete noire and Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee, who has been persistently clamouring for the resignation of the Buddhadeb Bahttacharjee ministry and early asembly elections under president’s rule in the state.

Emerging from a three-hour meeting of the party’s state secretariat, Sen said there would also be no change in leadership in the government, and thereby scotched speculation that Bhattacharjee could quit.

“We made some changes in the state ministry sometime back.. There will be no further changes,” he said.

He also said there was no possibility of any change in the CPI-M’s state leadership.

“In our party, change in leadership does not happen like this. We go by some organisational process. The present leadership has been elected through this process. So, there cannot be any change now,” he added.