Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Deficiencies Identified, CPI(M) to Fight for Defending Democracy

KOLKATA: THE CPI(M) West Bengal state committee has decided to launch a movement protesting the ongoing attacks on democratic rights in the state. In its two day meeting, on July 16-17 in Kolkata, the state committee noted with concern the all-out attack on democracy and livelihood in the state. Thousands of peasants, sharecroppers and agricultural workers have been evicted from their lands. Elected panchayats at all levels are being forced to either stop work or act according to local Trinamool leaders dictates. The administration is conniving with them. The student unions have become special target for attack and Left leaning students have been forced to leave their colleges. A new kind of terror is in operation. The state committee has decided to mobilise people and build up movement against these attacks. The Left Front has decided to organise demonstrations in front of the state assembly on August 10. There will be a demonstration in Delhi on August 25. The campaign against corruption at the centre will start from July 24.

The state committee of the Party reviewed the electoral performance and identified reasons behind the setback for the Left. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat attended the meeting.


The Left Front government has indelible achievements in its tenure of 34 years. However, there were accumulated negative effects too. In the last few years, all reactionary forces gathered together under the leadership of Trinamool Congress. Their deep conspiracy, violent activities, use of money power and constant anti-Left tirade by media has helped in belittling the achievements of the Left Front from a section of people.

One of the main reasons for the negative result is the organisational lapses of the Party. There has been lacuna in class outlook while working in administration and panchayats-municipalities. There has been lack of commitment towards poor people, mechanical work instead of dedication, parliamentary deviation and depreciation of communist values in the Party. That created hurdles in political bonds of Party with people.

There was a lack in understanding and explaining to the people about the limitations of Left Front and the class nature of the State. Therefore the Party had to bear responsibilities of all intrinsic deficiencies of a bourgeois administration. There was deficiency in peoples’ mobilisation. There were ever increasing demands from the people, which was the result of development. However, the Party could not properly explain to people that all these aspirations could not be met due to inherent limitations of such a government. Sometimes, development activities got a narrow character ignoring general demands of the working people.

The Left Front government’s pro-working people priority and image was damaged for a period. There was discontent among people about some areas of development work due to weakness of the government. Lack of coordination and inaction in administration was evident, at least during the last months of the government. A lot of work was undertaken in the last few years for furthering the interests of poor and working people. However, the lacunae were not fully corrected.

The long tenure of the Left Front government and the stability has negatively affected the struggling capacity of the Party and movement. There was lacuna in election organisation too, thereby hindering the process of reaching to all sections with the political stand of the Party. That, in turn, resulted in wrong anticipation.

However, despite a setback, the Left Front has got 41.50 per cent votes. The CPI(M) will try to win back those sections of working people who have got alienated from us and also win over those who are with reactionary forces. This has to be done through sustained struggle.

The state committee has given the following call: work among people, deepen relationship with them, bring changes in the style of work, reorganize.

Prakash Karat, in his observation, underlined the need to reorient Party’s work and strongly fight out the negative trends in the Party. “There have been changes in class relations in the society and we should comprehend that to reorganise ourselves”, he said. Karat asked to link the struggle against central policies and defending democracy in the state.

CPI(M) secretary Biman Basu, summing up the discussion, said, it is of crucial importance to strengthen Party based on class outlook and ideology. “We have to fight back the attacks on democracy through mass mobilisations. This can only be done by patiently listening to peoples’ voices and strengthening bonds with them.”

People’s Democracy, July 24, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review Report of the Assembly Elections 2011

[Adopted by the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST) Central Committee at its June 11-12, 2011 Meeting at Hyderabad, A.P.]

The Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry were held in April-May, 2011. With the exception of Assam, in all the other states, there have been change of governments. However, there is no common trend which has emerged at the all-India level.

Firstly, in West Bengal, the Left Front suffered a major defeat. This has come as a big disappointment for the Left and progressive sections all over the country. The people of the state opted for change in a decisive fashion after more than three decades of rule by the Left Front. This result is a setback for the Left as a whole in the country.

In Kerala, though the LDF lost the election narrowly, it performed creditably. The UDF could win by a margin of less than 1 per cent of the vote. The LDF mustered substantial support among the people due to the record of the LDF government and the popular sentiment against corruption and the failure to curb price rise by the UPA government at the Centre. The results of the Kerala election show that a large number of people supported the Left platform and politics.

In Tamilnadu, there was a wave against the DMK regime due to its corruption and misrule. The AIADMK and its electoral partners got 85 per cent of the seats. Here too, the people rejected the DMK-Congress alliance and the issues which arose were also directly related to the UPA government at the Centre – corruption and price rise.

In Puducherry, the Congress which was traditionally strong, split on the eve of the election. The NR Congress which entered into an understanding with the AIADMK won the elections.

It is only in Assam that the Congress won a decisive victory. The Congress was able to win a majority on its own unlike in the previous election. The yearning for peace and hopes aroused by the talks with the ULFA and the divided state of the opposition were among the factors for the Congress success.

For the Congress, apart from the victory in Assam, there is nothing much to be satisfied about. It was routed in Tamilnadu getting only five out of the 63 seats that it contested. In Kerala, the UDF just scraped through a majority which was also possible due to the performance of the Indian Union Muslim League which won 20 seats. The Congress could win only 38 seats compared to the 45 won by the CPI(M). In West Bengal, it is the TMC which emerged as the main beneficiary in the election and the Congress has to be content with being a minor partner. The BJP fared badly in the elections. It got only five seats in Assam where it had 10 last time. It could not win a single seat in other states, whether it be West Bengal, Kerala or Tamilnadu.

The election results and the defeat in West Bengal have led to a barrage of propaganda that the CPI(M) and the Left have been rendered politically defunct. The West Bengal Party and the Left movement have undergone many vicissitudes in the past and emerged stronger. The Party and the Left will not, in any way, cease to struggle for the working class and the toiling people against the neoliberal policies and fight against the communal forces and imperialism.

Drawing the proper lessons from this defeat, the Party and the Left will bend all its energies to reinvigorate the Left movement.

West Bengal

The Left Front suffered a big defeat in the West Bengal Assembly elections which has resulted in an end to the 34 years of continuous rule by the Left Front government. Riding on the slogan of change, the Trinamul Congress led combine has won a sweeping victory getting 227 seats. The Left Front won only 62 seats. The Left Front polled 41.12 per cent of the votes; the TMC combine got 48.54 per cent, thus giving it a lead of 7.42 per cent.

The votes received by the Left Front amounted to 1.95 crore (19.5 million) in this election. Compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, when the Left Front polled 1.84 crore, this is 11 lakhs more. Compared to the Lok Sabha elections, the vote share of the Left Front was reduced by 2.2 per cent. The TMC-Congress combine polled 2.3 crore vote which is 35 lakh more than it polled in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2006 Assembly elections, the Left Front had polled 50.18 per cent of the vote getting 1.98 crore votes. There is a 10 percentage points erosion in this election which accounts for the extent of the defeat.

Out of the 19 districts, only in three – Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and Uttar Dinajpur – the Left Front polled a higher vote than the TMC combine. A feature of this election has been the increase in the TMC-Congress combine’s vote share in the traditionally Left strongholds of Bardhaman, Bankura, Purulia and Paschim Midnapore.

The Assembly elections were held in a situation marked by the concerted efforts of the ruling classes and imperialism to weaken the CPI(M) and the Left. These efforts began due to the role played by the Left during the UPA-I government in opposing the neo-liberal policies and the strategic alliance with the United States. They got intensified after the withdrawal of support to the government in July 2008. The ruling classes and imperialist agencies worked to assemble a range of forces to attack the Left in West Bengal, the strongest base of the Left in the country.

The elections were held in the background of sustained attacks on the Party and the Left Front activists. Around 388 cadres and supporters were killed after the Lok Sabha elections in May 2009 till the Assembly elections were held. The Maoists resorted to targeted assassinations and struck terror in the Jangal Mahal region in coordination with the TMC. In some other areas such as in parts of East Midnapore district, it was not possible to conduct the election campaign.

It is evident from the results that the trend against the Left Front which emerged partly in the panchayat election in 2008, continued in the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 and the 2010 municipal polls got further momentum in the Assembly elections. The people have voted determinedly for a change.

The prolonged rule of the Left Front government for 34 years has led to an accumulation of various negative factors which have impelled the people to vote for change. A preliminary review indicates the reasons why this mood for change occurred. Some of them are as follows:

i) There were various shortcomings in the performance of the Left Front government in the recent years. Most of these shortcomings were noted during the Lok Sabha election review. They pertain to the public distribution system, health, education, rural electrification and other developmental and welfare measures. Some of the programmes and schemes were not taken up for implementation. The deficiencies in basic services and their delivery caused discontent among the people.

ii) At the political level, there was an all-in-opposition unity ranging from the rightwing forces to the extreme Left. Apart from the TMC combine which included the Congress and the SUCI, forces like the GJM and the Greater Coochbehar movement supported the TMC combine. The TMC-Maoist nexus was in operation. This anti-Left combination gained momentum in the last three years and was seen by sections of the people as an alternative to the Left Front.

iii) The Singur and Nandigram events brought the issue of land acquisition to the fore. It was used effectively against the CPI(M) and the Left Front by the TMC-led combine to propagate that the Left Front government would snatch away the lands of the farmers. As the Lok Sabha Election Review of the Central Committee stated: “The TMC-led combine has been effectively using this issue to drive a wedge between the Party and sections of the peasantry”. The administrative and political mistakes in this regard proved costly. Despite the assurances that none of the lands would be taken without the consent of the people, the campaign against the Party and the Left Front government on this issue contributed to the erosion of support among the rural masses. The Nandigram events and the subsequent police firing alienated sections of the intelligentsia and the middle classes.

iv) The organisational aspect is also an important factor. The image of the Party amongst the people has been dented by manifestations of highhandedness, bureaucratism and refusal to hear the views of the people. The existence of corruption and wrong-doing among a small strata of Party leaders and cadres due to the corrosive influence of being a “ruling party” and running the government for a prolonged period was also resented by the people. All these have affected the Party in the elections.

v) The erosion of support amongst the working class and the rural and urban poor indicates the failing to consistently take up the class issues. The independent role of the Party and the mass organisations was impaired due to the dependence on the administration.

vi) There was a systematic and concerted campaign against the Left Front and the CPI(M) in particular in the mass media controlled by the corporate sector. This sustained campaign over the last three years has influenced a section of the people particularly the middle classes. Identity politics was fostered to weaken the class based unity of the people. This election saw the use of money in a big way, not seen before in West Bengal. Various NGOs and imperialist agencies were active against the Left Front.

After the reverses suffered in the Lok Sabha polls, some measures were taken at the governmental and organisational level to extend welfare measures and to re-establish links with the people. But these corrective measures could not make the needed impact. The Lok Sabha election review had noted the alienation among section of the Muslim minorities and sought to address the causes. However, the steps taken such as the implementation of reservation in jobs for Muslims under the OBC category came too late to make a difference.

We should examine the reasons for our poor performance in the working class and industrial areas such as in North 24 Paraganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Burdwan. The full-fledged election review which will be based on the information given by all the lower units should enable us to identify more accurately where and to what extent we have lost ground among different sections of the people. Based on such a review, we will have to take the necessary political and organisational steps to re-establish our links with the people and to overcome the shortcomings in the organisation. Steps will have to be taken to streamline the organisation. The rectification work from top to bottom should be carried out.

Seven successive Left Front governments formed since 1977 have many historical achievements. Among these are land reforms which benefited over 3 million peasants and 1.5 million bargadars (sharecroppers); a decentralized and democratized panchayat system which enabled the involvement of the rural masses in local administration and development that became a model in the country; the firm implantation of democratic rights for the different sections in the working people; the creation of a stable secular administration marked by communal harmony and peace.

Despite these important gains, the Left Front government was working within the limitations of a bourgeois-landlord system. Notwithstanding these achievements, the limitations and difficulties of working under an overall neo-liberal set-up also became evident. A more elaborate review should examine whether the Left Front government did enough to implement alternative policies to the neo-liberal framework.

Though we have suffered a big electoral set-back, it should be noted that the Left Front has polled more than 1 crore 95 lakh votes, which is 41 per cent of the total votes polled. This shows that a substantial section of the people voted for the CPI(M) and the Left Front despite the offensive of the anti-Left forces and against heavy odds. In many places, the poor and the working people stood with the Party. We have to base ourselves on this mass support and go towards recovering the lost ground. The Party should be in the forefront of the struggles to defend the hard-won gains and rights of the working people in the three decade of Left Front rule. We should continue our struggle against the anti-people class policies of the Congress-TMC government at the Centre. We have to launch movements in defence of the people’s livelihood and interests. We have to maintain and strengthen the unity of the Left parties and rally the support of other democratic forces.

The Party has to study the changes that have come about in class relations especially after three decades of land reforms and the development of capitalist relations. We have to examine the shifts in class positions with the advent of a rural rich strata. Similarly, under the impact of neo-liberal policies, there are changes that have occurred among the middle-classes and other strata. The class orientation of our work towards the basic classes and the poorer sections can be determined on this basis.

In the immediate situation, the Party and the Left Front are faced with widespread attacks. Violence is directed against the leaders and cadres. So far, 14 leaders and cadres have been killed – 13 of the CPI(M) and one of the RSP. Many have been injured in the attacks. Women have been molested. Scores of Party offices have been attacked and ransacked. Some of them have been captured. Thousands of supporters had to leave their homes. The Ganashakti daily has been targeted and the sellers of the paper are being assaulted or intimidated. Union offices have been occupied or captured. In some places, there have been attacks on peasants to snatch away the right on their lands. In some places, crops have been looted or destroyed. Students unions are being targeted in colleges.

We have to defend the Party and the mass organisations from such attacks. The cadres who are being targeted for violence have to be protected. Along with the Left Front, we should conduct a widespread campaign among the people in defence of democratic rights and to protest against such violence. The attack on the Party and movement in West Bengal should be made an issue of defence of democracy and protection of the rights of the working people all over the country. The Central Committee appreciates the dedicated work and dauntless spirit of the tens of thousands of Party cadres and Left activists in this difficult period. They will get the full support and solidarity of the entire Party and the Left and democratic movement to overcome the present situation.


The UDF won the elections to the Kerala Assembly very narrowly. The UDF got 72 seats which is just one more than the majority mark of 71. The LDF got 68 seats which is three short of majority. The LDF polled 44.94 per cent of the vote. This is an increase of 3 per cent compared to the Lok Sabha polls when the LDF got 41.95 per cent. The difference between the UDF and the LDF is only 0.89 per cent.

Of the 14 districts, the LDF polled a higher percentage of votes than the UDF in eight, while the UDF could poll a higher vote in six districts.The difference in overall votes polled is 1 lakh 55 thousand between the two fronts. However, the UDF got a lead of 3 lakh 69 thousand in Malappuram district alone. This means, that minus this district in the rest of Kerala, the LDF had a lead of over 2.14 lakhs.

The elections were held in the background of a national political situation where the image of the Congress-led UPA government was sullied by large-scale corruption and its failure to curb price rise. Both these issues had an adverse effect on the Congress-led alliance in the state. In Kerala, in the months before the election, the issue of corruption came to the fore with the sentencing to jail of a former UDF minister by the Supreme Court for corruption. The ice cream parlour sexual abuse case involving another former minister was also revived by new revelations.

A significant feature of this election was the absence of any antiincumbency feelings among the people. The record of the LDF government with pro-people development and comprehensive social welfare measures found appreciation among the people. Measures such as rice at Rs. 2 per kilo for families beyond the BPL criteria, increase in pensions for all sections of working people, welfare measures for fishermen, opening of closed plantations, assistance to workers of traditional industries and revival of the State PSUs as profit-making institutions – all contributed to garnering support from the people. The last budget presented on behalf of the LDF government had many pro-people measures which also got a positive impact among the people.

Apart from the performance of the LDF government, there were some other factors which contributed to the near success in ending the cyclical change of government every five years. The LDF was more united. There were no disputes about seat allocations like at the time of the Lok Sabha polls. The Party also worked unitedly and there were no controversies on any issue unlike at the time of the Lok Sabha polls.

The issues of corruption which were taken up by V. S. Achuthanandan as the Chief Minister and his campaign on an anti-corruption platform drew widespread support among the people and it found reflection in the big popular response to his election campaign.

At the time of the Lok Sabha election, a majority of the Janata Dal(S) had left the LDF. Subsequently, a majority of the Kerala Congress(Joseph) and the INL also left the LDF. Despite these desertions, the LDF has been able to recover ground and make headway.

The organisational work put in by the Party in preparation for the elections have also helped in mobilizing support for the LDF. The state committee directed planned work in 74 constituencies which were targeted for winning. Of these, 30 were those which were won by the LDF in both Lok Sabha and local body elections, 29 constituencies were such which were won by LDF in one of these two elections and 15 constituencies were such where the LDF had trailed by 5,000 votes in both these elections. This planned work resulted in our good performance in many of these seats. The LDF won 53 of the 74 seats so targeted. 15 more seats were won that did not belong to this category.

A notable feature was the support of the working class for the LDF. The coir workers, cashew workers, fisherfolk, plantation workers and other sections of the working class voted in large numbers for the Party and the LDF candidates. This could be seen clearly in districts like Alappuzha, Idukki and Kollam.

10 out of the 12 SC seats were won by the LDF while the two ST seats in Wayanad district went to the UDF. The UDF benefited from the support it got from various caste and religious organisations. The Nair Service Society (NSS) which claimed it was equi-distant from both fronts actually worked against the LDF.

Though it was not able to influence the people belonging to the this community everywhere, its campaign did effect the LDF in some constituencies. The SNDP also worked by and large in favour of the UDF candidates. Here too, the Ezhava masses did not get swayed by them generally. But in a closely fought election, in a few places, they might have tilted the balance.

In the Parliament and local body elections, sections of the Christian church had come out openly against the Party and the LDF. The Roman Catholic church provided the leadership for this anti-Communist campaign. This time there were no open expressions of hostility by the Catholic church stablishment, though the trend of voting against the LDF did remain in many places. The non-Catholic sections of the Christian church did not come out against the LDF.

There was a Muslim consolidation in favour of the Indian Union Muslim League in Malappuram district. Here, of the 16 seats, the LDF could win only two. The Muslim League succeeded in rallying many religious and social organisations around it. The effects of this could be felt in some places outside Malappuram district too. In two or three seats in Palakkad district adjoining Malappuram, there was a consolidation of Muslim vote against the LDF which resulted in the loss of these seats.

It may be recalled that in the 2004 Lok Sabha and 2006 Assembly elections, the Party had made headway in winning support among the Muslim masses in Malappuram. Alarmed by these development, the League had adopted various measures to stem the decline. The state committee has decided to closely examine the reason for the Muslim consolidation behind the Muslim League. Past experience has shown that the Party was able to attract wider support among the Muslim masses with its consistently secular and anti-imperialist platform. After the review, we have to chalk out plans to step up our work among the Muslim masses.

The BJP actively worked for its candidates in this election. Unlike in previous elections, when the BJP vote was transferred to the UDF, this time most of the BJP votes were polled for its own candidates. Only in a few seats were the votes transferred to the UDF candidates through the arrangements made by the local leaders. BJP polled 6.08 per cent of the vote compared to 4.75 per cent in the 2006 Assembly elections. In the Lok Sabha polls, it had got 6.49 per cent.

There has to be an in-depth examination of the seats which we lost narrowly, so that we can ascertain the reasons for the loss. Some organisational shortcomings have been revealed in the review by the state committee. It has been reported that in many places, the branches are not undertaking house-to-house visits. This basic form of activity to keep in touch with the people and hearing their views apart from communicating the Party’s message should be revived where it have fallen into disuse.

The failure to put up more women candidates should also be noted. There should be no excuse for such neglect in the future. The state committee review has noted the growing trend of parliamentarism witnessed in this election. Some leading cadres were unhappy at not being selected to as candidates. Some even go to the extent of deserting the Party. A few adopted improper methods to seek the Party nomination. In certain instances, a comrade would assert the right to contest again a second time, citing the two-term limit.

Such manifestations of parliamentary opportunism should be countered. It should be remembered that the root of factionalism in Kerala was traced to the disease of parliamentarism. The rectification campaign in this regard should be pursued.


The Tamilnadu Assembly elections saw a sweeping victory for the AIADMK and its electoral partners. The DMK combine was routed. The AIADMK and its electoral allies won 203 seats while the DMK allies got only 31 seats. The AIADMK and its partners got 51.8 per cent of the vote while the DMK alliance got 39.43 per cent. There was a massive swing of 12.4 percentage points in favour of the AIADMK alliance.

The elections to the states were held in the background of the big corruption scandals – the 2G spectrum case – which embroiled the DMK at the Centre. The arrest of A. Raja, the investigations into Kalaignar TV and members of Kanimozhi’s family in the kickbacks received, became a spearhead for the campaign against the corruption misrule of the DMK. Corruption under the UPA government had a direct bearing on the situation in Tamilnadu due to the involvement of the DMK.

Another factor was the domination of the Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s family in various spheres of business, media and the film industry. The stifling of rivals and the naked use of State machinery to enrich themselves evoked the ire of the people. The impact of the welfare measures undertaken by the DMK government was negated to a great extent by the spectacle of the family-business nexus.

The price rise of essential commodities and the failure of the UPA government in this regard also fuelled discontent against the DMK alliance. Power cuts and its adverse effects on industry and agriculture, the crime network flourishing with DMK patronage and the deteriorating law and order situation were contributory factors to the anti-DMK verdict.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK leader, cashed in on this acute discontent and emerged as the rallying figure for all those who want an end to the misrule of the DMK.

The AIADMK forged an electoral understanding which was strong and effective. A key factor in this was the joining of the DMDK which had polled 10 per cent of the vote in Lok Sabha polls. The DMDK led by Vijaykant has a strong following among the youth.

Tamilnadu has become notorious for the use of massive money power during elections through distribution of cash and other goods to the voters. This time, the Election Commission took some effective steps to curb the flow of illegal money. Nearly Rs. 60 crore was seized. Though money was still distributed in many places despite these measures, its effect was limited as people were determined to vote without the influence of money power.

While there was an overall trend in favour of the AIADMK and its allies, among the government employees and teachers, this was not so. Given the record of victimization of government employees by the earlier AIADMK government, a substantial section of the employees and teachers voted for the DMK alliance.

Party’s Performance : The CPI(M) contested 12 seats and won in 10 of them. We lost the Palayamkottai seat with a margin of only 605 votes. The Party could retain some of its sitting seats like Dindigul, Perambur, Madurai South, Harur and Tiruppur South by good margin. The Party has won the Kilvelur seat by a small margin of 724 votes. This is traditionally strong area of the Party. The state committee has decided to examine the reasons why we could not perform better in this seat. The Vilavancode, sitting seat in Kanyakumari district, has been lost by a margin of 23,789 votes to the Congress. The AIADMK is not so strong in this district. The DMK-Congress alliance is generally strong in this district. It seems that the bulk of the Christian vote has gone to the Congress candidates. Since the Party has been traditionally strong in this district, the erosion of support among some sections is of concern. The state committee should further examine the trends in the election and also the position of the organisation.

The state committee review notes that a considerable section of Party members were not active in the election campaign even in the 12 seats we contested. In some cases, only 50 per cent of the Party members were active. This indicates the low political and organisational level in the membership. Steps should be taken to activise the Party membership and streamline the Party organisation. Apart from the 10 seats won by the CPI(M), the CPI has won nine seats and the Forward Bloc one. This bloc of 20 Left MLAs should help us to project the Left politics and alternative policies in the state.

The Assam Assembly elections have resulted in a clear victory for the Congress. The Congress won 78 seats polling 39.38 per cent of the votes. This is an increase of over 8 per cent compared to the 2006 election. The AGP and the BJP suffered a rout. The AGP got 10 seats. Its poll percentage went down to 16.3 from 20.4 in the previous election. The BJP won only five seats which is half its strength in the previous Assembly.

A significant feature of the result is the increase in the strength of the AIUDF, a minority-based party. It won 18 seats compared to 10 in the last elections. It could also increase its percentage of votes by 3.56. The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) also improved its strength by winning 12 seats. The BPF was a coalition partner in the government but it had fought the election separately.

The CPI(M) and the Left parties suffered a setback as they failed to win any seat. The Party lost both its sitting seats of Sorbhog and Rangia. The Party came fourth and third respectively in these two constituencies. Only in the Sootea constituency in Sonitpur district, the Party candidate came second getting 32,341 votes. The Party contested 17 seats and got 1.13 per cent of the vote. The CPI lost its sole sitting seat. According to the state committee’s preliminary review, a major factor in the electoral reverse is the weakening strength of the Party organisation and the non-expansion of the mass organisations and mass activities. We should also examine whether the increasing trend of ethnic and community mobilization is affecting our mass base. One of the features of the result is the increased strength of the AIUDF and the Bodo party, BPF.

The AGP, though reunified, was not cohesive. It adopted the dubious tactics of working for an understanding with the BJP while advocating a grand alliance of all the opposition. Such opportunist politics have been rejected by the people. The Congress party has benefited from the expectations of peace after the initiation of talks with the ULFA. Its slogan of `peace and development in the state’ found a positive response. The government had also announced various welfare measures for the poorer sections in the past two years. This, alongwith the huge amount of money spent in the election and the division of votes among the opposition parties, helped the Congress.


With the defeat of the Left Front in the recent Assembly elections, a phase ushered in, in 1977 has ended. The existence of the Left-led government in West Bengal for the last three decade has been a source of strength for the Left and democratic movement in the country. In the changed political situation with the loss of the Left-led governments in West Bengal and Kerala and the depleted strength of the Left in Parliament, the Congress-led government will seek to utilize this opportunity to push through the neo-liberal policies more vigorously and subject the people to further attacks on their livelihood.

The Centre will seek to ride roughshod over the states in the absence of Left-led governments. There can be a growing tendency to attack democratic rights. We have to be vigilant in such a situation to resist such policy offensive and defend the rights of the people. The extended meeting of the Central Committee in Vijayawada had called for continuing the fight against the neo-liberal policies and taking up the struggles of the people who are affected by these policies. The Party has to continue to fight the communal forces and defend secularism. We have to oppose the pro-US policies. The Party has to tirelessly work among the basic classes and build the unity of the Left and democratic forces.

The election results have once again underlined the importance of building the Party and expanding our influence outside the three strong states.

We have to mobilise all the democratic forces and public opinion all over the country against the terror and violence unleashed against the Party and Left Front in West Bengal.

The state committees should chalk out, apart from the reporting of the review of the elections, a political-ideological campaign within the Party. Most of the Party members are of the post-1977 vintage and have been in the Party when there has always been a Left Front government existing in West Bengal. The loss of such a government can give rise to political confusion and ideological questions. The role of Left-led state governments in the correct programmatic perspective should be explained within the Party. We have to assert that the Party’s basic approach and the class and mass struggles will not be affected by the loss of a state government or an electoral defeat.

We should continue with the rectification campaign which will help the Party members and committees to adopt a correct political organizational orientation in the present situation.

The entire Party should unitedly move to face the present situation. We should go to the people with the determination that we will overcome our weaknesses, advance the movement and go forward.