Thirty-three years in power in West Bengal appeared to have got the Left Front "swollen-headed" and the "debacle" in the civic body polls was a message to improve oneselves, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said on Friday.
Analysing the civic body election results, Bardhan acknowledged there was an alienation between the cadre and people and anti-incumbency factor played a role.
"They (Left Front) have to improve themselves. They have been too long in power. Maybe they got swollen-headed... because of that they have got alienated. Perhaps some sort of bureaucratism crept in. All these things were very clear," he told in a television talk show.
His critical remarks came when he was asked what was the message given by the people of Bengal to Left Front through the results.
When asked whether the Left Front has stopped being democratic, Bardhan said, "I must say that has been so."
Further asked whether he thought that Left has become arrogant he said, "may be, democracy in behaviour, in practice, in your relationship is very important."
Out of the 81 municipal bodies, the Left Front won in only 18 municipalities while arch rival Trinamool Congress bagged 26. Congress bagged seven and the anti-Left alliance four. While results to 23 are hung, three have resulted in a tie.
Asked whether the poll results were a verdict on the 33-year rule of the Left Front in Bengal, Bardhan said it was anti-incumbency factor. "It seems even if you work for people... development... that is not enough," he said.
Noting that it was a "very big defeat" and that he would use "debacle" to describe the verdict, he said, "you have to be with the people. You have to be among the people. You have to be sensitive to the people."
Bardhan said he had feeling whether it was CPI or CPI(M), it seems that there has been "a sort of an alienation" between cadre, activists and people.