New Delhi, May 25: CPI general secretary A B Bardhan said here today that the party may elect a new general secretary next year. He however said that the change in leadership had “nothing to do” with the debacle in West Bengal and Kerala.
“Our party constitution provides that no General Secretary can continue for more than three terms. All I can tell you is that there will be a change as far as the CPI is concerned. I have completed my term,” the 86-year-old communist leader said.
“We will have our 21st party Congress in Patna in March next year. That is where a new leadership is elected...But this change has nothing to do with the recent developments. We always take responsibility both at the collective and individual levels,” Bardhan, who succeeded Indrajit Gupta as CPI General Secretary in 1996, said.
In case the CPI Congress in March 2012 accepts the proposal of Bardhan to retire as the General Secretary, the front-runner for the crucial post would be Deputy General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, a two-time MP from Nalgonda constituency in Andhra Pradesh. Bardhan, born on September 25, 1925 in Sylhet (now in Bangladesh), began his political career during freedom struggle as a leader of the All India Students Federation. He later rose to become a fiery trade union leader in Nagpur and the General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress.
Maintaining that it would be wrong to term the Bengal Assembly poll results as an electoral setback, the veteran communist said such a description “will be trivialising the whole thing. It is in fact a big political defeat for the Left and we must accept it”. PTI