New Delhi, May 17: Under attack over successive electoral losses, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat says he alone will not take the responsibility for the massive debacle in West Bengal.
“It has nothing to do with individuals or individual units of the party. As I said, it depends on where we are politically, whether we have the correct approach.
“So neither will I take credit for 2006 (West Bengal assembly polls when Left won 233 of the 294 seats), nor will take responsibility alone for 2011,” he told TV channels when asked whether he would take responsibility for the defeat in West Bengal Assembly elections.
He said it just did not not depend on individuals. “It's the organisation and we have our methods of reviewing and correcting if there are any mistakes or distortions”, he said.
There have been murmurs of protest, especially in West Bengal and Kerala units of the party, against Karat over the drubbing the party had suffered in the Lok Sabha polls after the Left withdrawal of support to the UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Maintaining that the entire party was concerned about Bengal, he said “the central leadership, from the top, which includes me, has to take responsibility for this defeat and see how we can get out of it”.
Asked whether at any point he felt like quitting, he said as Communist they spend their whole life working for a cause and do not not think of stepping out of the movement.
When pressed further whether he felt like quitting from the post of General Secretary, Karat said, “That's for my party to decide. We will discuss this matter. We will continue to have collective leadership.
“After all, General Secretary is one among the Politburo who is supposed to work as the spokesperson of the Politburo. He does not decide matters on his own. But there is sometimes necessity to bring a change and that will be done in the party if it is required.”
In case the party concludes that its policy or line was wrong, “then the responsibility will lie with the leadership. It lies with the Politburo, it will lie with the General Secretary and it will lie with the Central Committee”, he said.
Karat also added that if there was “any necessity to pin down, we will do it. But we have methods, it will not be mixed up with elections”.
Observing that the electoral tactic was an outcome of the CPI(M)'s policy and political approach, he said “if we find something wrong, we will take responsibility”.
Asked what that would entail, Karat said “that we will decide in our party forum. If we have to formulate a new line, who could do it, who should be in the leadership, we will decide in due course of time”.
Asserting that no one would “jump the ship” but try to steer it to the right course through the stormy weather, he said in a communist party, no one is held accountable for electoral losses as elections are “a part of our overall political activity”.
In this context, he said reports about former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee quitting “just does not happen in our party”.
Describing V S Achuthanandan as “the pre-eminent leader” of the party, Karat said the former Kerala Chief Minister, performance and unity of LDF and corruption issue
were major factors which led the Left to win 68 of the 140 seats, resulting in a wafer-thin victory for the UDF. PTI