After the worst drubbing at the hustings, CPI has conceded that withdrawing support to the erstwhile Manmohan Singh government over the nuclear deal "may not have been a good idea".
Asserting that there was "no rethink" on the Indo-US nuclear deal as it was not in the country's interests, party General Secretary AB Bardhan said, "I agree that it may not have been a good idea to withdraw support on the anti- imperialist note.
"People did not respond to it since there were other burning (livelihood) issues we could have considered. It may have alienated the people from us. Worse, it never became an election issue and Congress completely bypassed it," he said in an interview published in the latest issue of CPI mouthpiece 'New Age'.
In the interview, appearing days after the party's top brass conducted soul-searching over the general election results, Bardhan said it was "our biggest failure" that the Left parties "had no time to focus on the positive impact of our four-and-a-half years of support to the UPA."
He claimed that the Left had "a major role to play in the pro-people policies" adopted by the UPA government while referring to the rural employment guarantee scheme and the tribals forest rights act.
"So busy were we in painting a negative picture of the UPA and its policies that we could not take any credit for the policies and schemes in which we had a direct contribution.
"We did not even take the credit for stalling disinvestment/privatisation of profit-making public sector units or for the fact that we saved the financial sector from the worst effects of the (global economic) meltdown," Bardhan said, adding that "our efforts helped in reducing the impact" of the slowdown.
On the debacle in West Bengal, the veteran CPI leader said the ruling Left Front government's performance "certainly needs to be questioned".
"Very aggressive industrialisation without a well-defined land acquisition policy ... That was largely responsible," he said adding that his party had been "warning them (CPI-M) from the beginning".
On Kerala, Bardhan made it clear that the elections in the state "should alert us. It is a lesson in how not to run a front." He, however, said the CPI would not forsake Left unity for these "temporary reverses" and "we do not make scapegoats of anybody, that's not a Marxist approach".
Regarding the Third Front, Bardhan, referring to the tie-ups with BJD, AIADMK and TDP, took a view similar to that of the CPI(M) saying "our mistake was to project the state- specific alliances as a national alternative".