Karat refuses to name CM candidates for WB, Kerala

New Delhi: Exuding confidence about the outcome of the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala, top CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat on Friday refused to name the Chief Ministerial candidates saying Buddadeb Bhattacharjee and V S Achuthanandan would lead the poll campaign.

"The state parties have already announced that Bhattacharjee and Achuthanandan will lead the election campaign. It (Chief Ministerial candidate) will be decided only after the election results are out," Karat said here.

"We will break the pattern in Kerala and maintain it in West Bengal…. We are concentraining in ensuring that the pattern is broken in Kerala," he said in reply to questions.

The poll result trend in Kerala has generally shown a change in the ruling alliances after every election.

Interacting with journalists at a `Meet the Press` programme of the Press Club, he said "we are particularly concerned about elections in these two states", which were the strongest base of the Left.

He refused to hazard a guess about the outcome of the coming electoral battle but said "we will have an assessment from the ground by this month end when our state units send their reports".

"Though it is too early to make any suggestion, we are hopeful. There will be surprises in Tamil Nadu also," he said asserting that the CPI(M)`s links with the peasantry and other weaker sections would not be broken. "We are confident that the Left will continue to play a significant role in the national polity".

Asked about "factionalism" in the party`s Kerala unit, Karat shot back "did this `factionalism` affect our performance in the last assembly elections?"

He said the party would be judged both in Kerala and West Bengal by the work the Left governments have done as also by the "alternatives" they have provided to the policies pursued by the Congress or its ally, Trinamool Congress.

"You have answered the question," Karat said while replying to a journalist who asked whether he thought Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee`s performance would be "like that in the Railways" as she promises good governance.

To a question on Achuthanandan remaining suspended from the Politburo, he said the Chief Minister remained a member of the Central Committee, "the highest body of the party. The Politburo is only the executive of the CC".

He further said that Achuthanandan was "our seniormost leader in Kerala who has proved his record as the Chief Minister. The other steps (suspension) taken by the organisation has nothing to do with his work as CM".