West Bengal Assembly Elections 2016

Left parties rue seat adjustment strategy in Bengal

Even as Kerala proved to be a historic success for the Left parties — giving them some reason to cheer — the West Bengal verdict has given them reason to worry.

In a State where the Left Front had been in power for 34 years before being unseated by arch-rival Mamata Banerjee in 2011, the CPI (M) has received a jolt by losing even the second position.

Congress benefits more

The seat adjustment with the Congress that the Left made this time to take on the Trinamool Congress worked more for the Congress than the Left parties. While the CPI (M) won 26 out of the 294 seats in West Bengal, the Congress seemed set to reach a tally of 44, which would enable it to claim the post of the Leader of Opposition.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the party would review the results and then comment.

While party workers complained that Left votes had got transferred to the Congress but not vice versa, a CPI (M) leader said: “The Congress is not a cadre-based party like us. While we could transfer our votes to them, they obviously could not do the same.”

There are already murmurs in the party that the seat adjustment strategy may have backfired. “The Congress has strongholds only in north Bengal, in places like Murshidabad and Malda. Shifting of CPI(M)votes helped it immensely there,” a leader said on condition of anonymity.

Meet on May 22

While the Central Committee meet that was to be held on May 23 and 24 has been put off, the party’s Polit Bureau will meet on May 22, said a veteran party leader.

“We should have apologised for our mistakes and worked on strengthening ourselves rather than count on alliances,” a leader said.

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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 2:22:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/westbengal2016/left-parties-rue-seat-adjustment-strategy-in-bengal/article8622487.ece

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