The rampant slide in the CPI(M)’s electoral fortunes shows no signs of letting up and with the next Lok Sabha polls barely months off, the top brass at Alimuddin Street has grown jittery over the dismal state of affairs and the party losing ground in its strongholds across the state.
According to an internal report drawn up by the party top brass, the CPI(M) lost as much as 10% of the votes polled in Jangalmahal and another 5% and 3% in Cooch Behar and Murshidabad in the panchayat elections.
The grim numbers are a clear pointer to the CPI(M) having failed dismally to turn a corner since the near washout in the last Assembly elections.
Taking a serious note of the party’s declining fortunes, the CPI(M) state committee leaders on Wednesday went into a huddle at Alimuddin to find a way to arrest the precipitous slide in time for the Lok Sabha polls.
Reports from district party units in the light of the rural polls prompted the latest bid at course correction, said sources.
“At the meeting we made a conscious effort to delve into the reasons for the sharp dip in our vote share. The numbers are proof of our failure to cash in on the perceived discontent against the Trinamool Congress government. We need to find a way to reverse this trend. The violence unleashed by the ruling party was also a reason why we couldn’t field nominees at many places for the panchayat elections,” a senior state committee member told HT.
The loss of 10% votes in the three Jangalmahal districts of Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia, all Left bastions formerly, has raised hackles in the top CPI(M) ranks, said sources. The numbers reflect further erosion in the Left tally in the region as compared to its harvest in the Assembly polls.
Far from its dismal show in 2009 when it failed to bag a single Lok Sabha seat in Jangalmahal, Trinamool swept the rural polls in the region and is expected to post good numbers in the ensuing Parliamentary polls.
The CPI(M) lost 3% of the votes polled in Murshidabad, with the vote percentage going down to 38% from 41% in the last Assembly polls.
The loss of a further 5% in Cooch Behar, saw the vote share drop to 32% from the previous 37%.
However, the party did manage to equal its previous haul of 38% in How rahandeven bettered its Assembly poll tally in Nadia and the North 24-Parganas, albeit minimally.
In Nadia, the party’s vote share was up 1%, while in the North 24-Parganas; the CPI(M) recorded a 0.70% increase in vote share.
Party top bosses at Alimuddin are worried that despite being under attack from the opposition forces on several fronts, brand Mamata Banerjee continues to pull votes for the ruling camp.