"CPI(M) calls for inner party democracy but the fact is that there is not an iota of democracy within it. A few people are behaving as the sole custodian of the party and are not ready to lend an ear to dissident voices," said CPI(M) East Midnapore district committee member Tamalika Panda Seth, who is also the wife of expelled leader Lakhaman Seth.
Along with her, Ashok Guria, Nityananda Bera, Amiya Sahoo and several other leaders including several district committee members have quit all party posts accusing it of being undemocratic and failing to protect the workers and cadres of the party in the district.
"I have been associated with the party for last 45 years. But the way few people are running the party, it would do more harm than good," said Guria.
Guria along with Seth and several other leaders were the face of CPI(M) in Nandigram, which witnessed violent anti-land acquisition protests in 2007 and is one of the reasons behind the fall of the 34-year-old Left regime in Bengal.
The persistent call for a change in CPI(M) leadership since its dismal show in the Lok Sabha polls has not only grown louder but has also seen exodus of party workers and leaders to other political parties and outfits amidst accusations against the present CPI(M) leadership as being 'incompetent'.
For the first time in the history of CPI(M) since its formation in 1964 after breaking away from CPI, a rally was organised outside the Alimuddin Street party headquarters here by both present and expelled leaders in May after the party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.
CPI(M) state secretariat member Rabin Deb, who is also in charge of East Midnapore, said the party had received the resignation letters and was looking into it.
"In East Midnapore, there are 17,000 party members and leaders. Out of them 40 people have expressed their desire to leave the party.
"If someone tries to play it up as a big jolt to the party then I have nothing to say. Some of these 40 people have inquiry commissions pending against them," he told