After a severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) did some soul-searching on what led to the results and discussed the way ahead.
While the CPM won just two seats in West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress swept the polls, Left parties fared poorly across the country too. They won just 12 seats in the polls, of which nine went to the CPM and one to the CPI, half their tally in the 2009 polls.
The party politburo, which met in New Delhi on Sunday, admitted that West Bengal, once a Left-citadel, now poses the toughest challenge to it.
The CPM had contested 32 out of 42 seats in West Bengal and fielded 10 Muslim candidates, along with many new faces, but the strategy didn’t pay off. In Raiganj, the victory margin of its candidate Md Salim was the lowest in the state.
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat later told reporters that the situation in West Bengal, in the wake of alleged large-scale rigging and violence, was “worrisome”. The state committee would meet in Kolkata soon for an in depth review.
Karat said the steps on coping with challenges and strengthening the party and the Left organisation would be discussed when the Central Committee meets here on June 7 and 8.