Chinese Communist "princeling" Bo Xilai, expected by many to take a key leadership position in the leadership transition of 2012, was expelled from the Communist Party in September after a career that saw him as Mayor of Dalian City, Minister of Commerce and Party Chief of the Chongqing municipality. His wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for murdering British business partner Neil Heywood.
Bo Xilai's supporters take to blogs to show their support for former chief
New Leftist bloggers rally behind their fallen idol, saying he was toppled on trumped-up charges because fellow party leaders feared his influence
The downfall of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai , who was famous across the nation for his promotion of "red culture" and communist ideology, has stirred cries of distress from his so-called New Leftist supporters.
Many of those supporters are mourning the fact that the party has once again failed to advance the leftist agenda advocated by the disgraced "princeling".
They even claimed that the "alleged crimes" committed by Bo, which were outlined in charges reported by state media on Friday, did not lead to his downfall, pointing instead to his failure to bring China back onto the political path set out by the late Mao Zedong .
"The charges that Xinhua reported are nothing; many other senior officials have done much worse," said Mao Jianhui , a diehard New Leftist and supporter of Bo in Nanjing , Jiangsu .
"We still support Bo, because he was a rare leader who dared to speak for the majority of the people and who thought about the livelihood of the poor. This [thinking] was passed down by Mao Zedong."
Mao Jianhui, a veteran who said he was not related to the former leader, said that being a New Leftist meant advocating the party's political agenda as seen during Mao Zedong's era.
They saw this as another way to narrow the wealth gap that resulted from the "capitalist thinking" of former leader Deng Xiaoping .
Another leftist, Guo Songmin , wrote on his microblog that the charges against Bo showed that China faced an "uncertain future".
The former People's Liberation Army Air Force pilot, who is a former journalist with the Shanghai-based party mouthpiece Jiefang Daily, said that the party's decision to expel Bo and file criminal charges against him showed that the central leadership was worried about public support for the disgraced official.
Sima Nan , a well-known leftist political commentator who praised Bo's red culture campaign and his "Chongqing model", called Bo the victim of a plot to eradicate both him and his populist policies. He also said the Communist Party failed to give any ideological or political reasons for Bo's dismissal from the party's elite.
"The charges focused only on 'the money in his pockets and the women on his bed'," Sima said. "Yes, those two things are problems, but do you believe money and women are good enough reasons to bring him down?"
Since Friday's report, many of Bo's supporters have posted comments supporting him on the "Red China" website. The far-left Chinese-language portal replaced Utopia - a website popular among leftists and nationalists that was shut down in April after Bo's downfall.
"One of the core members of the ruling party's leadership was suddenly turned into a demon," one of the comments said.
Another called Bo a hero for his attempts at political reform, adding, "The Chinese people are crying for you."
The Red China website is blocked on the mainland unless internet users find ways to circumvent censorship.
However, at the weekend, the mainland's microblogs, or weibo, were teeming with debate about Bo's dramatic downfall.