A day after facing a rout in the municipal elections in West Bengal, the CPM said on Thursday that the downslide since the last Lok Sabha elections “appears to have been partially arrested”, and resorted to statistics-jugglery.
“During the Lok Sabha polls in 2009, which saw a serious erosion in the Left vote, the Left Front had a lead in 525 of the 1,766 municipal wards in the state or 29.73 per cent. In these elections, the Left Front has won 603 out of 1,791 municipal wards or 33.67 per cent. Hence, the situation now shows, at best, a marginal improvement in the performance of the Left Front”, reasons the editorial in the forthcoming issue of People’s Democracy, CPM’s mouthpiece.
The party said that the total number of people eligible to vote in these municipal elections was 85,33,000 out of a total electorate in the state of 5,24,32,000, which is only 17 per cent.
“This makes up for less than 40 seats in an assembly of 294. The rest of the 83 per cent constitutes the rural Bengal electorate or more than 250 assembly seats... Hence, it will be fallacious to conclude that the results of these municipal elections are a reflection of the state’s electorate as a whole,” said the editorial.
The CPM said that in the “finest traditions of democratic practice,” the Left Front led by the CPM has accepted the people’s verdict.
But the party admits that the main reverses to the Left Front have come from Kolkata and its adjoining urban areas.
“This is a serious matter that needs to be properly reviewed in order to draw the correct lessons and apply the needed correctives. The CPM and the Left Front are committed to undertake this task in right earnest”, the editorial concluded.