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Thursday, August 05, 2021

‘Identify reasons that led to erosion of CPM votebanks’

The party also urged cadres to trace its slump since the 2008 Panchayat polls in a bid to prepare for upcoming elections, stressing the need to “identify the reasons that led to the erosion of our votebanks”.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
July 11, 2021 5:51:22 am
CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra. (File)CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra. (File)

AFTER THE CPM’s dismal show in the recent Bengal Assembly election, the party leadership has now cited “lack of clarity” in identifying its main political opponent – between TMC and BJP — as a “prime deterrent”.

The party also urged cadres to trace its slump since the 2008 Panchayat polls in a bid to prepare for upcoming elections, stressing the need to “identify the reasons that led to the erosion of our votebanks”.

CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, through CPM’s digital arm, delivered a speech to party cadres on Wednesday, the birth anniversary of former chief minister Jyoti Basu.

Mishra said, “One of our first objectives is to realise who our main opponent is. Misguiding election campaign slogans like ‘Bijemul’ (Trinamool and BJP) had obfuscated our mission. Our party workers must now get this clear: That the BJP which is backed by a fascist force is dangerous for democracy.”

For the first time in the history of the state, the Left now has no presence in the Assembly. In his address to CPM workers on social media on Wednesday, Mishra reiterated that the BJP is their main opponent “in terms of the situation in the country”. The fight against the BJP is going on, it will be more intense, he added.

He said, “Dialectical thinking is a scientific way of reaching a solution. This would mean using the method in assessing present situations and not just remain confined to (Karl) Marx or (Friedrich) Engels.”

He also said, “We cannot equate any party, Congress or TMC, with the saffron brigade like it was done in the 2021 elections. TMC need not be viewed as a separate opponent since it can be termed as an offshoot of the BJP. The TMC chief [Mamata Banerjee] is solely responsible for BJP-RSS growth in Bengal. How else did BJP get so many MLAs? Former chief minister Jyoti Basu had warned her (Mamata) against encouraging the growth of communal forces in Bengal.”

Mishra said, “We have to identify the reasons that led to the erosion of our vote banks. The year 2008 is also vital since it is also when the world began witnessing an emergence of extreme right-wing politics and Leftist politics getting side-lined. It is crucial to align our thinking process. In these last couple of years, there has been an unabated rise of capitalism. Even the nature of labour has changed.”

Misra mentioned that the party leadership has been receiving letters expressing views from many places since the Assembly poll debacle. The party’s state secretary claimed that even though many well-known leaders and workers of the party had sent strongly-worded letters, they were not throwing anything away. Despite running the government for 10 consecutive years, the way in which the TMC returned to power for the third time with a large majority is a big question (for the CPM).

In this context, Mishra said, the state government announced some people-oriented projects to deal with anti-institutionalism and people’s grievances, while the ruling party took up some programs like ‘Didike Bolo’. These are ‘positive interventions’ on the part of the ruling party. But they have downplayed such programs.

He pointed out that several challenges lie ahead for the Left in Bengal, especially at a time when the BJP is “attempting to divide Bengal through secessionist demands of making North Bengal a Union Territory”.

“We will continue with the assessments but there is no time to feel dejected but instead swing into action towards fulfilling our objectives in Bengal politics”, said Mishra.

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