CPI-M leadership in Bengal needs restructuring: Rezzak Mollah

Kolkata, July 19 (IANS) CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah Friday called for a restructuring of the party leadership in West Bengal, saying the present middle class leaders would not be able to cause a turnaround in its fortunes by taking on the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"Ours is mainly a class-based party. We represent the poor and the toiling class. But bulk of the leadership at all levels - top, middle and lower - represents the middle class," Mollah said after casting his vote for the panchayat election at Canning in South 24 Parganas district.

"The leadership needs to be re-organised and restructured, then only can the party turn its tides," said Mollah, a party state committee member and minister in the erstwhile Left Front government.

Asked about the absence of CPI-M cadres and the red flags that are symbolic of the party, Mollah said: "The problem is majority of our cadres are now prim and proper. We need people from the poorer sections who earn their living by breaking sweat."

He accused the Trinamool of "rigging" the third phase of the panchayat polls Friday.

"There is total rigging. I have been hearing bombings since early morning. I don't think there was rigging during my time but there were instances of proxy votes," Mollah told a TV channel.

Three districts of Kolkata - North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Howrah - will Friday elect some 13,000 representatives to the village councils, the third tier of India's electoral democracy.

Nearly one crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 12,656 booths in round three of the five-phase polls in the state.

Mollah, a former land reforms minister, is known as a loose cannon in political circles for his out-of-turn attacks against a section of the party leadership, especially former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and ex-industries minister Nirupam Sen.

During his ministerial tenure, Mollah openly protested against the land acquisition procedure followed in Singur in Hooghly district for the Nano car plant of Tata Motors.

The automobile giant abandoned the project and shifted the factory to Sanand in Gujarat following an intense peasant movement led by then opposition Trinamool Congress. Singur is considered as the beginning of the downfall of the Left front government and the combination was ousted from power in the 2011 assembly polls.

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