June 30, 2024

WB: State Committee Plans Three-Tier Approach to Review Election Results

Subinoy Moulik

IN a statement on June 20, following a two-day state committee meeting, CPI (M) state secretary Md Salim announced that the Party will intensify its efforts to address pressing public concerns. The meeting, which held an initial review of the Lok Sabha elections in the presence of Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, outlined a comprehensive plan for future action.

Md Salim emphasized the Party's commitment to supporting and fighting for the rights of the poor and marginalised sections of society, pledging to "continue to hold the ground and fight." The organisational task ahead involves a three-tiered approach. First, discussions will be held within the Party organisation, starting from the polling booth level. Second, inputs will be sought from dedicated workers and supporters who are not Party members. And finally, opinions will be gathered from experts who are not directly involved in political movements but possess a clear understanding of political issues. This thorough review will culminate in an extended session of the state committee in Kalyani, Nadia on August 23-25, where a comprehensive evaluation of the election results will take place, and the way forward will be determined.

Sitaram Yechury indicated that the CPI (M) is reviewing election results in all states. A state committee meeting was also held in Kerala, and a Central Committee meeting will be held in Delhi from June 28 to 30 to finalise the review and determine the next programme. He also highlighted that the Modi government has lost its majority and is now dependent on coalition partners. They are no longer able to bypass the parliament. In light of this, the CPI(M) has decided to focus on people's issues both inside and outside parliament. Debates on policy matters will be pursued in parliament, and the struggle for constitutional and democratic rights will continue.



In response to questions about the Left's performance in the elections, Yechury admitted that expectations were not met in Kerala, Bengal, and other parts of the country. He assured that a thorough review is underway to understand the reasons behind the results and that discussions and surveys are currently taking place. He emphasized the Left's strong campaign in West Bengal, which urged people to vote against both the Trinamool and the BJP to safeguard both the country and the state, resulting in a positive response. Despite the outcome, the Party remains committed to its movement and will continue engaging with the masses on everyday issues. The Party also remains committed to its fight against religious and political polarisation, recognising it as a significant challenge.

On the same day, the BJP's leader of the opposition in the state assembly, the Nandigram MLA who switched allegiance from the TMC to the BJP before the 2021 assembly polls, claimed that the Left had ensured TMC's victory in some seats by dividing the votes. In response, Md Salim refuted this argument, stating that when the BJP was boasting about crossing 400 seats, did they not know that the CPI (M) was also participating in this election. He said that the Left asked people to vote against both Modi and Mamata Banerjee, and if that contributed to the BJP's losses, they are proud of it. Both the BJP and Trinamool present this false logic, with Mamata Banerjee claiming that the CPI (M) had made BJP's win possible by splitting votes. Salim said that they may be acknowledging our strength, but the fact is that all parties in a democracy have the right to contest. He pointed out that if such calculations were applied, it could also be argued that Adhir Chowdhury and Md Salim lost to Trinamool because the BJP split the anti-TMC votes.

In the CPI(M)'s initial analysis of the election results, Salim informed reporters that the Left and the Congress had to face not only the Trinamool and BJP, but also the influence of corruption and corporate donations, as well as instances of candidates being prevented from campaigning or visiting booths on election day. Additionally, there was active suppression of the Left's presence by certain sections of the media.

The ruling party in the state managed the entire process from the booth to the counting table by hiring an event management company for a substantial sum of money. Following the third phase of polling, both the prime minister and chief minister intensified religious polarisation through communal comments. Riots were even organised around Ram Navami. Despite knowingly participating in this unequal battle, our progress did not meet expectations. However, progress does not happen overnight, but we believe it will happen one day. Just as religious division did not endure in Uttar Pradesh, it will not endure in Bengal either.Yechury also noted that there has been a communal base in Bengal since Partition, but it was kept in check by Left movements and the Left Front government that ruled for 34 years. With the support of the Trinamool government, the RSS has been able to revive it. The Trinamool's politics is responsible for this.



When asked about the CBI investigation following the NEET scam and NET cancellation, Yechury expressed skepticism about relying on the CBI's track record under BJP rule. He questioned what the CBI had accomplished in the Vyapam scam and stated that the CBI's only task now seems to be targeting the opposition. Therefore, we are demanding the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under court supervision to ensure a fair investigation.

Yechury further argued that the events surrounding the TET in West Bengal clearly indicate that corruption methods are the same in both Bengal and Gujarat. Examinees are leaving their answer sheets blank, others are filling them, resulting in unrealistically high marks. This systematic examination fraud can only occur with organised effort and poses a significant threat to the country's future.

He criticised ministers in the Modi government for their tendency to evade responsibility. Specifically, he condemned the railway minister's hasty attribution of the Kanchenjunga Express accident to human error without conducting a proper investigation. Yechury believed this was an attempt to hide systemic deficiencies. He called for the railway minister's resignation and emphasized the importance of addressing the underlying causes of such accidents.

Md Salim also spoke about the horrific railway accident in Rangapani. He noted that railway recruitment had ceased, there was a lack of staff, and the drivers were not receiving sufficient rest. However, Salim accused the railway minister of deflecting blame onto the workers to cover up his own mistakes. In regard to the fire at Holong Bungalow, when questioned by reporters, Salim urged the media to thoroughly investigate the incident. He hinted at potential corruption and document destruction by the Trinamool government.

Regarding BJP MP Anant Maharaj's call for a separate state in North Bengal, Salim stated, "He is moving between the Trinamool and the BJP." Salim pointed out that Maharaj made this statement following a "courtesy" meeting with Mamata Banerjee. Salim speculated that the chief minister may have influenced Maharaj to divert attention from pressing public concerns by making these statements.