Staff Reporter

ERODE: The timing of withdrawal of support to the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre cost the Left dearly, R. Nallakannu, former State secretary, Communist Party of India, has said.

Addressing newsmen at the party’s Erode office on Thursday, he said the Left should have, instead, withdrew support when it was out of the UPA-Left coordination committee. “Instead of withdrawing support citing differences over nuclear deal, the Left should have walked out when it wanted to protest against rise in prices.”

The senior leader parried questions on Communist Party of India (Marxist) charge that lack of AIADMK support resulted in poor performance. “The CPI will convene a meeting to discuss the election outcome and only after analysing the result, will it come to a conclusion.”

Mr. Nallakannu said Congress victory in the election was a vote for stability and against communalism and added that it was not an overwhelming victory as the vote share had increased by only two percentage points.

He attributed the victory to Congress taking credit for programmes it had implemented at Left’s instance like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme.

On the Left’s future course of action, the CPI national executive member said following the poor show, it was imperative on both the two major parties CPI (M) and CPI to work out a joint strategy and fight together for people’s welfare.

He also suggested electoral reforms on replacing electronic voting machines with ballot papers and introduction of proportional representation system.

He then honoured the party’s centenarian leader C.S. Subramaniam, who turned 100 on Thursday. District secretary V.P. Gunasekaran was also present.