As the Trinamool Congress recorded a win in the West Bengal civic polls, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday accepted defeat but said the results were not a basis for demanding advancement of Assembly elections in the State.

Noting that the civic elections were held in urban areas only, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury admitted that the results were a setback to the Left Front as the reverses of the Lok Sabha have not been reversed, but only arrested.

Observing that the entire electorate in the civic polls accounted for only 17 per cent of the total electorate, he said, “It is less than one-fifth of the total State electorate. Eighty-three per cent of the people did not participate in these elections. So, this does not constitute any basis for demanding advancement (of Assembly elections)“.

He was replying to questions on Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s demand for advancing the assembly polls scheduled in mid-2011.

In a tongue-and-cheek remark aimed at the Railway Minister, he said, “Let us hope now that the municipalities in Bengal will be run better than the Indian Railways."

Mr. Yechury said, “We accept the people’s verdict in the civic elections. But we would also point out that our vote percentage has shown marginal improvement of over four per cent than the last Lok Sabha elections“.

“It shows that the trend seen in the Lok Sabha elections has been arrested but not reversed,” he said, adding that the party would soon review and introspect on the civic poll outcome to decide on the road ahead.

Replying to a spate of questions on the municipal polls, Mr. Yechury said the anti-Left votes “always get consolidated even without a mahajot.”

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