Bihar Assembly elections | CPI(ML) on song

CPI (ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. File   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

As the CPI(ML) on Tuesday registered its highest tally in over 30 years in Bihar by winning 12 of the 19 seats it contested, its general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya credited the people of Bihar for its performance while he rued that the Left was under-represented in the Mahagathbandhan led by the RJD.

“The credit entirely goes to the people of Bihar. It is their struggle and we are just the medium,” he said. The electoral fortunes of the party changed with the lockdown. “At a time when both the Centre and the State government had abandoned and humiliated the people, our comrades stood with them everyday,” Mr. Bhattacharya said.

In the 2005 February Assembly elections, the party had won seven seats. Within a few months when the Assembly was dissolved since there was no clear mandate for any party and elections were held in October, its tally came down to five. In the 2010 elections, they were wiped out. And it took them another five years to bounce back, winning three seats in the 2015 elections that they fought independently.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the RJD, despite several rounds of conversations, kept the Left out of the Opposition alliance. This time around, however, they decided to join hands with it. Mr. Bhattacharya said the alliance also provided the necessary boost to the CPI(ML) but essentially, he said, it is the situation with an upsurge of youth that contributed to its electoral fortunes.

Asked if the Mahagathbandhan could have won if the Left were given more space, Mr. Bhattacharya said, “It is a reasonable question to ask and we will have to find an answer. People feel that the Left was under-represented in the alliance. But for the RJD, from exclusion of 2019 to modest inclusion it was a long road.”

He said while the Congress had underperformed pulling the alliance down with it, the JD(U) performed better than expected considering it was besieged from all sides, fighting anti-incumbency on the ground and tussle within the alliance.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 1:22:04 PM |

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