Kolkata, Mar 31 (UNI) CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Biman Bose was today elected the party's West Bengal State Committee Secretary as a successor to Mr Anil Biswas.
The decision was taken unanimously at a state committee meeting convened, five days after the death of Mr Biswas, to fill in the void.
Announcing this, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said Mr Bose, who was also the Left Front Committee Chairman, would continue to discharge dual responsibilities.
''We are badly missing Mr Anil Biswas, but we have to fill up the gap through collective functioning so that there is no lacking in poll campaigning and organisation,'' he told a press conference.
Besides Mr Bhattacharjee, the state committee meeting was attended among others by veteran Polit Bureau leader Jyoti Basu.
The sudden death of Mr Biswas, considered to be the ''best among the second generation leaders'' in the CPI(M) barely three weeks before the state elections, came as a blow to the party, facing a changed situation when it was trying to balance Marxism with Capitalism.
However, the party's Polit Bureau had made up its mind and conveyed its opinion in favour of the 65-year-old Mr Bose as the new state secretary. An astute organiser and a man who rose from the grassroots, Mr Bose had been asked by the party after Mr Biswas fell ill on March 18 to share with Mr Bhattacharjee for an interim period the poll-related responsibilites that are usually discharged by the state Secretary.
Though a few other names were doing rounds as the likely successor to Mr Biswas, the party's interim measure had dropped a broad hint at who it was relying upon most at a crucial juncture when the state Assembly elections were round the corner.
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, who flew in here twice in recent times, had held meetings with the party patriarch Jyoti Basu and other senior leaders before taking up the issue with other Polit Bureau colleagues. The party had little choice for the important post given Mr Bose's firm grip over the organisation, vast experience and wide acceptibility among the ranks.
Mr Bose was one of the proteges of Mr.Pramod Dasgupta, the architect of CPI(M) forte in West Bengal and had excellent rapport with late Mr Biswas and Mr Bhattacharjee forming a trio that emerged as the most potential future leadership of the party in the eighties.
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