West Bengal Assembly Elections 2016

BJP took advantage of people’s anger: Brinda

On a day the Left Front performed spectacularly in Kerala but suffered heavy losses in West Bengal, Vikas Pathak spoke to CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat about the results of Assembly elections.

Was it a wrong decision to go in for seat-sharing with the Congress in Bengal, given that the CPI(M) has been pushed to third position? What went wrong there?

In our first official response to the results, our PB statement has said that we will examine all the factors behind our poor performance including the electoral tactics followed in the State. At present we are concerned with the physical attacks on our supporters, our offices by the TMC vahini. This should stop immediately.

What are the reasons for the Left’s spectacular victory in Kerala?

We have taken a consistent stand in the last five years, as an alternative to the corrupt Chandy Government on the basis of the projection of our policies and against communal politics. So we see this as a positive vote for the LDF. UDF has set new records in corruption combined with its assaults on the livelihood and rights of the people. In particular, its utter failure in providing security for women and punishing criminals has also angered the State.

Achuthanandan or Pinarayi Vijayan? Who is better suited and better placed to be Kerala CM?

This will be decided in Kerala through the usual party procedure we adopt.

What are the implications of the BJP sweeping Assam and opening its account in Bengal and Kerala?

The BJP took advantage of the people's anger against the policies of the Congress in Assam. But it had run a duplicitous campaign — promising development but targeting minorities. In a sensitive border State if they continue with such an approach it will not augur well for the State and the region.

Do you think alliances of ‘secular parties’ are a good way to pose a challenge to the BJP at the national level?

I think at the national level the Left has to concentrate on strengthening itself, its unity and its alternative approach, working to build a strong Left and democratic alternative. Only such an alternative can fight back the communal offensive.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 11:14:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/westbengal2016/bjp-took-advantage-of-peoples-anger-brinda/article8622459.ece

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