iconimg Sunday, July 05, 2015

Zia Haq, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 20, 2009
Admitting that the idea of the Third Front was neither “credible” nor “viable”, the CPM Politburo on Tuesday said that it was the chief reason for its poll debacle. On Tuesday, the Politburo, with a trace of remorse, said: “The Left parties had allied with certain non-Congress, non-BJP parties… these alliances forged on the eve of the elections were not seen by the people as a credible and viable alternative at the national level.”

However, the Politburo appears to have done the spadework to defend its leadership’s decision to burn bridges with the Congress.

“This (non-Congress, non-BJP alliances) was required so that a secular electoral alternative emerged,” it said. To this end, it also held state units equally responsible. 

The Politburo view is that generally the national mood was for a “stable government”, a mood that may have been reinforced by the Left’s cry for a hazy Third Front.

On the other hand, the Congress gained from Left-driven welfare schemes like the NREGA, the party said.

The Politburo grimly articulated its losses in West Bengal and Kerala as a matter of “deep concern”. (The CPM's overall vote share dipped from 5.66 per cent in 2004 to 5.33.)

The CPM seems to have bled from self-inflicted wounds. The partners the Left had hoped to sail with were unreliable
and opposed to the CPM’s core values.

The CPM began chasing after every available party in its quest for an alternative. AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa’s credentials as a backer of the Left were always questionable. She had publicly advocated a Ram temple.

The TRS openly talked of aligning with any party that promised it a separate Telengana, while the CPM has always opposed moves to carve up states. Though the JD(S) officially toed the Third Front line, its regional interests of containing the BJP made it bank on the Congress more than on Prakash Karat.

The CPM went completely wrong on Mayawati’s BSP, which was on the slide but the CPM could not see it coming.

Post-polls, the dominant view is that a dogmatic Left has lost its appeal with the middle class and the Politburo promises to take corrective steps after fuller assessments.