The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday said the results of the just-concluded Assembly elections in five States were a setback to the Congress.

In a statement, the Polit Bureau said the Congress lost its government in Goa and failed to win in Punjab, where it should have benefited from the anti-incumbency factor against the Akali Dal-led regime and from the cyclical change in government taking place in the State.

The Congress fared badly in Uttar Pradesh and just managed to be ahead by one seat in Uttarakhand, where also it should have gained from the anti-incumbency factor.

The sole exception was its outright victory in Manipur. But this had no wider significance given the abnormal and specific conditions prevailing there, the CPI(M) said.

Part of the debacle in the elections could be attributed to the people's discontent with price rise and corruption for which they held the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre responsible, the statement said.

Characterising as “remarkable” the Samajwadi Party's victory in Uttar Pradesh, the CPI(M) said the vote was not only against the Mayawati government but also meant the people had rejected the BJP and the Congress. “The BJP in particular has failed to make any headway. The results show that the BJP is not seen as a credible alternative to the Congress. Apart from its [poor] performance in U.P., the BJP lost in Uttarakhand and its seats have been reduced in Punjab.”

Turing to its own poor show in U.P. and Punjab, the CPI(M) said the result underlined the need for strengthening the party, its mass activity and organisation in the two States.

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