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Left need to reclaim traditional votebank in Bengal, Kerala: CPI

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 22, 2019  | 14:03 IST

(Eds: Correcting typo in headline) /R New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The Communist Party of India has acknowledged that the Left parties were facing an "erosion" of its traditional votebank in West Bengal and Kerala, saying it was a challenge to reclaim these strong bases. In a statement after its three-day meet that ended on Sunday, the CPI said the situation was never so dire for the Left parties politically. The Left has now its lowest-ever representation in the Lok Sabha after Independence as the CPI(M) have won three and the CPI two seats in the 2019 general election. "This is an unprecedented challenge to our party," the CPI said. "The Left cadre and ranks are disappointed and unhappy. Victory and defeat are normal in elections but we are shocked with loss of vote share in big way." The party said the "erosion" of the traditional Left vote was very high in West Bengal. "That is alarming. It reduced from 25 per cent to seven per cent in Bengal. In Kerala UDF got 47 per cent, LDF 35 per cent which is a big gap. "It never used to be more than two per cent difference earlier. We need to introspect deeply why our vote share in strong bases also is eroding in such big way. This is more so in West Bengal. This is a big challenge. We shall face it and overcome," it said. The party also criticised the Opposition parties, saying the "narrow petty interests" of leaders and groups was the reason behind the failure to unite. "Many parties which expressed that desire to unite, in practice miserably failed due to narrow petty interests of leaders and groups. Even broad understanding among the secular and Left parties, did not succeed in many states," the party said. In spite of the "positive political atmosphere in the country" against the BJP, the saffron party won the general election because the secular parties failed to unite, it said. The CPI said there was "confusion as there was no uniform method of understanding among the secular (parties) and (the) Left, except in Tamil Nadu where it yielded excellent results." The party said the BJP could accommodate many small parties in different states -- as many as 44 -- and forced the AIADMK by "misusing the state machinery" and had understanding with it along with some other parties in Tamil Nadu. "There are allegations that (the) BJP spent huge amounts of money and even paid to allies to join the NDA. In Uttar Pradesh they accommodated many small parties and some of their candidates were forced to contest on BJP symbols," the party said. "BJP could get huge amounts of money from corporates through electoral bonds. Eighty per cent of electoral bonds were in favour of BJP," it added. PTI ASG HMB

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