Yechury believes CPM can make a comeback in Bengal

The CPI(M), which got a historic low of only three seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, did not win any in West Bengal for the first time since its inception in 1964

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Kolkata: Blaming the near rout of the left in the general election on a global trend of consolidation of right-wing forces, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said the central committee of the party would meet later this week to analyse the reasons behind the debacle.

The CPI(M), which got a historic low of only three seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, did not win any in West Bengal for the first time since its inception in 1964.

The party’s central committee is set to meet in New Delhi from 7 to 9 June to discuss the debacle and future strategies to re-emerge as a force to reckon with.

“To strengthen the independent presence of the CPI(M) and the Left, all issues related to the election results will be discussed at the central committee meet before the state committees take them up,” Yechury told reporters here. There has been an intense consolidation of right-wing forces all over the country and this paradigm shift in India is a reflection of a global trend, he said.

“Communal polarisation in the country over the last five years was consolidated by the rousing nationalistic jingoism,” the senior CPI(M) leader said, claiming that the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike helped build it, thus allowing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to shift its narrative from “real issues”.

Yechury claimed that the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama and the actions that followed thereafter took the glare away from the distress in the agriculture sector, farmer suicides and the ill-effects of demonetisation and GST implementation.

“Along with this (Pulwama and Balakot) narrative, there was a build-up of a larger-than-life persona of Narendra Modi, with people voting not for the candidate of a constituency but for Modi as the prime minister of India, a messiah against terrorism,” the CPI(M) general secretary said.

Yechury, however, asserted that all that the saffron party had done to win the election would not have been possible without massive use of money power.

Alleging that the Election Commission (EC) played a partisan role in the recently-concluded polls, he accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of undermining the judiciary, Parliament and the poll panel.

Yechury, who attended a CPI(M) State committee meeting in Kolkata, said the Left party wanted to strengthen itself independently and draw forces willing to join the fight against the BJP.

Regarding the party’s worst showing in its once-impregnable fortress, West Bengal, the CPI(M) general secretary said: “there are matches where you don’t score a goal, this was one such match”. He, however, sounded hopeful of the party’s rejuvenation in the State, saying it will be the secular alternative to the politics of communal polarisation played out by the BJP and the Trinamool.

“The ‘Agey Ram porey bam’ (first Ram and then the left) slogan doing the rounds in the State itself is an indication that our supporters will come back to our fold,” he said.

Yechury also claimed that the people in Bengal reposed faith in the saffron party to save themselves from the “repressions and terror” unleashed by the Trinamool during its eight-year rule in the state.

Claiming that there has been an influx of fresh and young faces in the party, he said, “I have not seen so many youngsters in party rallies in the last 10 years in Bengal. This is a positive sign as far as we are concerned.”

The BJP won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the just-concluded polls, only four less than the Trinamool’s 22.

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