New Delhi: Hurt by the historic defeat of the Left Front in the recently-held West Bengal Assembly polls, Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary AB Bardhan has decided to quit from the party post.

Briefing journalists on Wednesday about the two-day meeting of the party's National Executive, Bardhan termed the loss in Bengal as ‘big’ because the firm grip of the Left Front on the polity of the state provided strength to its political standing at the national level.

On the question of quitting the post of general secretary, Bardhan said, “We will have our 21st party Congress in Patna in March next year where the new leadership will be decided.”

 “Our party constitution provides that no General Secretary can continue for more than three terms and thus there will be a change as I have completed my term,” elaborated Bardhan, who succeeded Indrajit Gupta as CPI General Secretary in 1996.

Meanwhile sources suggest that party deputy general Secretary and former MP from Andhra Pradesh S Sudhakar Reddy is likely to succeed Bardhan in 2012. It may be noted that the party Congress is held every three years.

On the issue of West Bengal government's land acquisition policy, Bardhan said that it might be one of reasons and not the sole cause of the Left Front’s performance.

Notably, slamming ex-CM Buddhadeb and his ministers for the poll debacle, Bardhan had lashed out at them for following an arrogant policy in the state.

CPI could win only 2 seats in West Bengal and 13 seats in Kerala Assembly polls.

JPN/Bureau