C. Gouridasan Nair

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Communist Party of India (Marxist) leadership set in motion here on Sunday an elaborate exercise aimed at studying the true dimensions of the defeat of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the Lok Sabha elections and to figure out corrective measures necessary to win back the confidence of the masses.

The exercise began with a two-day meeting of the party State secretariat, which would be followed by a three-day meeting of the CPI(M) State committee beginning on Tuesday. Party general secretary Prakash Karat and Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai are attending the two meetings, the discussions of which are based on the reports on the poll outcome from the grassroots.

The secretariat meeting began with Mr. Karat briefing the State leadership about the party’s general perceptions about the general election results and the setbacks that the CPI(M) and the Left had suffered, particularly in West Bengal and Kerala. Party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan presented a report on the election outcome in Kerala. The discussion on the State secretary’s report would continue on Monday.

The CPI(M) State leadership does not appear to be as yet ready to hit the panic button, though there is wide agreement in the party that a lot had gone wrong in the party’s election strategy as also its image before the masses. Allies of the CPI(M), the Communist Party of India and Revolutionary Socialist Party, have already identified public resentment over the tie-up with the Abdul Nasir Maudany-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the stand taken by the government in the SNC Lavalin corruption case and the alienation of the Christian and Nair communities as some of the reasons for the LDF’s poll debacle.

Although the mainstream media is inclined to see every discussion in the CPI (M) on factional lines, it is not always so. Except on specific issues which have a bearing on the factional equilibrium or personal stakes, discussions do go beyond the factional pulls and pressures. The discussion on the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections is likely to be one such occasion. This does not mean that there would not be any attempt to apportion blame for the defeat.

Given the factional equations in the party, there would be an attempt to put a fair amount of the blame on Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan with not too many coming to his defence.