Kolkata: In wake of a flood of adverse comments from within the party over the decision to support Yashwant Sinha as the presidential candidate, the CPI(M) central committee has disabled the “comment option,” in its official page.
The party has posted the official statement by Sinha as the unanimous opposition candidate for the Presidential poll on its official page. However, the comment option has been disabled there. Needless to say, the action has been prompted by an attempt to arrest the wave of internal discontent hitting the section at a time when the social media has already been swamped by comments from the party insiders criticising the high command for the latter’s decision to support Sinha.
The maximum criticisms have come from the party members of West Bengal who are furious about the decision considering that Sinha, who was a former heavyweight Union minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led first NDA government and who later joined Trinamool Congress became the party national vice president.
Although strict instructions have come from CPI(M)’s national headquarters of A.K. Gopalan Bhawan in New Delhi to the party’s Bengal brigade to refrain from fueling this internal discontent, the caution hardly had any impact. Even the party’s Rajya Sabha member Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, CPI(M)’s sole parliamentary representative from West Bengal has described Sinha’s candidature as “improper” and said that he will have to consume his high command’s decision on this count as a “bitter gourd”.
Understanding that the internal discontent from West Bengal is going out of proportion, the CPI(M)’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury has explained through the party’s mouthpiece in Bengali under what circumstances the party was forced to support Sinha’s candidature.
Candidly confessing that internal discontent is brewing over the decision to support Sinha’s candidate, Yechury said that the Sinha was the only choice left for the opposition after Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdulla and Gopal Krishna Gandhi refused to contest. However, Yechury said that it was CPI(M)’s moral victory that under its pressure Sinha had to resign as Trinamool Congress’s national vice president before his name was announced as the opposition candidate.
Yechury was also candid in his confession that currently the Left Parties do not have that numerical strength to field its own candidate as they did in 2002 by fielding Captain Lakshmi Sehgal of INA- fame against the-then NDA candidate, APJ Abdul Kalam. “In 2002, the Left Parties were the third largest power in terms of numerical presence in the Parliament and hence we could manage around 1,00,000 votes in favour of her then. But the situation is different now. Had we fielded our own candidate this time, we would have got more isolated as people could say that we were jeopardising the opposition effort against communal forces,” Yechury said.