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Poll debacle: CPIM begins soul search

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

In a bid to find out the causes behind its complete wipeout in 2021 Assembly polls, the CPI-M state committee is conducting a two-day meeting with all its district-level committees, hoping to find out the root cause behind what led
the people of Bengal to totally reject a party that ruled the state for 35 years.

The Left-Front that led an alliance with Congress and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) in 2021 state polls, barely knew that it would face the worst poll debacle where vote results indicated that the alliance wasn’t even in the fray. The votes were apparently divided between the Trinamul Congress and the BJP.

The CPI-M state committee is hence conducting a two-day meeting, which began today, that will be monitored by its senior leaders such as Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat from New Delhi.

Party sources claimed that the leadership felt that its district-level committees in Bengal need to be included in the meeting as the party had its stronghold mainly in the districts of Bengal than in Kolkata.

A majority of the Assembly seats in the district where the Left has most often
remained undefeated, this time slipped out of its hand and went to the Trinamul Congress. The state committee feels that its district leaders need to deliberate on what possibly went wrong.

The CPI-M had issued a statement right after poll results where it held responsible the identity politics allegedly played by both the Trinamul Congress and BJP that became a huge factor that overcast the other vital
issues such as rampant corruption by the ruling party and endless “demagoguery” by the BJP.

It claimed that strong disapproval for the BJP resulted in overwhelming votes for the TMC. However, it may be noted that ever since the Left had struck an alliance with the ISF, many of its supporters had been expressing severe criticisms surrounding the secular image of the Left-Front.

The ISF chief Abbas Siddiqui too stoked controversies with his past comments where the Muslim cleric of Furfura Sharif was even heard telling a crowd in a jalsha how his “understanding with the Left and the Congress was just poll restricted since both the parties had exploited the Muslims of the state to further their political ambitions”.

Post polls, veteran Left leaders like Tanmay Bhattacharya and Kanti Ganguly even testified to the Press that it was the “blunder” committed by their senior leaders that resulted in the poll debacle.

Parties like RSP and Forward Bloc had vehemently opposed the inclusion of the ISF. “Senior CPI-M leaders such as Md Salim and Surya Kanta Mishra felt the ISF could help divide the minority vote bank of the TMC, thus bringing them a chunk of the minority votes,” said party sources.

Forward Bloc leader Naren Chatterjee recently held the alliance with the Congress and the ISF solely responsible for the Left getting decimated in Bengal.