CPI leaders review electoral drubbing in WB

New Delhi: The CPI top brass on Tuesday reviewed the drubbing of the Left in the recent assembly elections in its stronghold of West Bengal terming it as a "serious political setback" and decided to make joint efforts to regain their lost base there.

A meeting of the party`s National Executive heard reports received from its units in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam and held in-depth review of the Left`s poll performance and reasons for the humiliating defeat in Bengal.

The meeting came in the backdrop of party General Secretary A B Bardhan warning Left leaders to "either change or you are out" and describing the Left`s debacle in West Bengal as a "defining moment".

Party sources said both the CPI as well as the CPI(M) needed to deeply introspect on the results and the drawbacks on the political, organisational and administrative fronts, including "arrogance of power" and corruption in West Bengal.

A major factor was the alienation of minorities and scheduled castes and tribes from the Left, especially on issues concerning employment and education, they said, adding that these areas were not tackled properly by the major partner CPI(M) and the government led by it.

However in Kerala, the fightback by the LDF was noteworthy as it lost from the UDF by only three seats, the sources said.

In a recent interview, Bardhan said he had earlier warned Left leaders of the "arrogance" of some leading cadres.

He told them: "Remain a Communist but not a dogmatic…Those who cannot change will be out. Either you change or you are out".