news analysis Tiruchirapalli

Left parties get into introspection

Lok Sabha election results show erosion in their vote banks

Both the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have got into a serious introspection mode, in the wake of the humiliating defeat suffered by their candidates in all the 18 constituencies they contested in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The outcome has come as a big jolt to both the parities. What has shocked the activists more is that all the candidates lost their deposits even in Nagapattinam-reserved, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Madurai and North Chennai constituencies, considered their strongholds.

However, this is the first time since the 1991 Lok Sabha elections that either of the Left parties has failed to win even a single seat in the State.

Both the parties had fielded some of the senior functionaries, who wielded considerable influence among the working class, including U. Vasuki, national vice-president of the AIDWA (North Chennai); G. Palanisamy, a four-time CPI MLA (Nagapattinam); senior CPI leader K. Subbarayan (Tiruppur), K. Balasubramanian of CPI, a well-known in the government employees’ circle (Cuddalore).

Mr. Palanisamy (CPI) was the only candidate to secure 90,313 votes to finish third behind the AIADMK and the DMK candidates.

The Left candidates in all the other constituencies could muster only between 11,000 and 35,000 votes to finish fifth everywhere.

They have polled lesser votes than the BJP-led NDA alliance and the Congress candidates in all these constituencies where they were in fray.

The poor performance was despite vigorous campaigning by top national leaders of both the parties. Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Sitharam Yechuri, Tirupura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, all leaders of the CPI (M), besides S. Sudhakar Reddy, D. Raja, MP, and Annie Raja of the CPI.

The erosion in the Left vote bank could be gleaned from the fact that the CPI (M), contesting alone in the 1998 elections in two seats –Madurai and North Chennai constituencies – had secured about 1.61 lakh votes in both these seats.

This time, despite CPI joining hands with the CPI (M), the latter's candidates in Madurai and North Chennai managed only a little over 30,000 and 23,000 votes respectively much to the shock of the Left cadre.

Serious issues

“The candidates of both the Left parties were expected to garner substantial number of votes. But the outcome has only proved serious erosion in the vote bank. This only proves that these parties have moved away from serious issues concerning the masses. The functioning of the party legislators, particularly those of the CPI, in the Assembly is also much to be desired. Unless the party leaders understand the ground reality and prepare themselves in taking up the people-oriented issues, the parties will continue to remain alienated,” says a former state office bearer of the CPI.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 9:53:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/left-parties-get-into-introspection/article6081494.ece

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