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Cracks in the Marxist monolith

Cracks in the Marxist monolith

Publication: The Statesman
Date: December 4, 2002

The CPI-M may believe it can 'reform' the corrupt amidst its ranks by holding classes on Marxist-Leninist ideology, but some comrades in the heart of the city believe that classes of any kind just can't stem the rot. And they are voting with their feet.

Over a hundred partymen in Bhowanipore, Kolkata, fed up with the "immoral and uncommunist practices of some local leaders and party members", have quit the party in protest.

These 'rebels' are busy distributing leaflets and moving around Ward 72, microphones in hand, telling residents how some local CPI-M leaders and members are mired in corruption and in cahoots with unscrupulous promoters.

To rub salt into the CPI-M's wounds, the rebels have contacted local leaders of the Forward Bloc, a Left Front partner, and expressed their desire to join that party. This, after the CPI-M had drawn up an elaborate programme to set its own house in order - apart from setting up a permanent party school in the city, it has made it mandatory for the cadres to keep a daily record of their activities. But obviously, Big Brother can only do so much.

Mr Ashoke Ghosh, FB state secretary, said today that while he had not received any formal request from the "CPI-M rebels" to join the party, the party's local leaders are in touch with them. He added: "According to our party constitution, any one wishing to join the party must first work for our mass fronts and then would be eligible for associate or active membership. We've no difficulty in accepting supporters or members of any LF constituent. Such things often happen in districts."

Mr Anil Biswas, CPI-M state secretary, said he had no idea whether the leaders whose names had been printed on the leaflets being distributed were CPI-M members.

The rebels, however, are in no mood to relent and have said that they are only waiting for the "opportune" moment to expose more skeletons in the party's cupboard.

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