Mamatas decision shows her weakness

New Delhi: The decision of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee not to contest the West Bengal assembly polls reflects her "weakness", a top CPI(M) leader said on Saturday.

"If the Trinamool leader says she cannot contest from a constituency, then she is reflecting her weakness," Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said here.

He was asked to comment on Banerjee declaring that she would not contest the upcoming assembly polls because she cannot be identified with a single constituency in West Bengal and she has to keep the interest of the entire state in mind.

"The role of a leader should be to contest on his own, win his own seat and lead the party to victory in the entire state," Yechury told reporters on the sidelines of the CPI(M) Central Committee meeting.

He said the state units of West Bengal and Kerala would meet next week to take a final call on the candidates as well as the party`s election manifesto.

"In both these states, there are Fronts (Left Front in West Bengal and LDF in Kerala). The state leaders will have to speak to the other partners of these Fronts before the list is finalised," Yechury said, adding that seat adjustments would also be finalised with other parties which were part of these Fronts.

His senior colleague from West Bengal, Biman Bose, said the state party would shortly announce the manifesto in Kolkata.

About his statement that several new faces would figure in the candidates` list of the Left Front and some old ones would be dropped, he said, "If new faces come in, it is natural that some old faces have to go".

Politburo member and West Bengal Minister Nirupam Sen said the issues of price rise and corruption and "the UPA government`s policies responsible for these growing attacks on people`s livelihood" would figure in the CPI(M)`s poll manifesto.

The issues facing agriculture sector, employment generation and industrialisation in state, which had seen the Tatas moving out its Nano project to Gujarat due to Trinamool -led protests, would also find a prominent place in the manifesto, he said.

Asked about the poll prospects of the Left Front, Sen said, "Though it is a big challenge, the situation that is emerging now is favourable to us".