Work with Renewed Vigour along with Introspection
CPI(M) West Bengal state committee has called upon Party workers to organise movements on burning issues of peoples’ livelihood with renewed vigour. After a big setback in assembly elections, Party is going through deep introspection. But at the same time it is urgent to stand beside the people at this critical time.
In the state committee meeting on May 29, primary review of the election results was done. It was stated that the Left and the Sanjukta Morcha faced a disaster. In 2016, Left Front won 32 seats, of which BJP has won nine seats in this election, while the TMC won 23 seats. Congress won 44 seats in 2016. TMC has got 29 of these seats and BJP 15. BJP has won 77 seats, out of which they snatched 47 from the TMC. On the other hand, TMC has retained 160 seats out of 209 which they won in 2016. TMC’s success has mainly been achieved by gaining 52 seats from the Left alliance. CPI(M) contested in 138 seats, out of which vote share has increased, compared to 2019, in 94 seats.
It was noted that there was a process of two-party binary which was reinforced. At the start of the election process, there was indeed anti-TMC, anti- incumbency trend. But the aggressive and egregious campaign of the BJP has helped to create an anti-BJP attitude as the days progressed. This belligerent campaign of the BJP has created such an atmosphere where issues like loot of votes by TMC for years, corruption, anarchy in all spheres of life, lack of democracy have failed to become election issues among the people. The voters have opted for the TMC as the main force against the BJP. TMC has also been able to gain by using the beneficiary schemes. There was a sharp polarisation between the BJP and the TMC, which is probably the main reason for such a result. It will be wrong to identify communal polarisation as the principal reason of the results. Both the TMC and the BJP have used identity politics which could not be combated. As a result of the BJP’s aggressive campaign, the distinctive self esteem of Bengal and the Bengalis has also worked as a factor.
It was noted that the main reasons of Left Front’s setback were political and organisational. We could not build trust about the Sanjukta Morcha among the people. The political campaign of the Left has failed to create an impression among the people. The slogan of an alternative government was rejected. The Left is suffering alienation from a huge section of people outside the Party periphery. There were serious lapses in organisational work which hampered our efforts to reach to people with our political message.
The state committee has stated that the primary review should be completed as a fuller review would be there after discussions at the booth and unit levels. The regular work from the branches to district committees should be guaranteed. Work of all mass fronts should be organised with renewed vitality. Independent work of the mass fronts as well as joint movements will have to be broadened. The work of Red Volunteers has uplifted the image of the Party and the Left. Taking lessons from that, mass fronts should organise activities according to the situation. Red Volunteers should be encouraged and accordingly supported so that they can work smoothly. The demands of free universal vaccination and food and financial help to poorer families should be raised as campaign movement and people should be reached with these demands. Party should stand beside the victims of Yaas cyclone; the demands for their relief and compensation should be raised.