A senior Communist leader has admitted that withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh government over the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and West Bengal's decisions over Nandigram and Singur cost the Left the Lok Sabha election.
"We could have broken with them on other issues, like economic issues, but pulling support on the nuclear deal was not right," Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A B Bardhan told UTVi.
"Our view on the nuclear deal was right but the people did not understand it. Even the Congress did not go to the people during the elections with the nuclear deal," Bardhan told Hindol Sengupta in an interview show.
He also said that the Third Front was a big mistake.
"In fact, to be honest, the Third Front never existed. It was just understandings with different regional parties in different states."
The CPI leader said that instead of going to the polls with the idea of the Third Front, the Left should have worked to explain all the policies that the Left worked with the government to bring about the rural employment guarantee scheme, keeping foreign investment from banking and insurance sectors, and the tribal rights bill.
"The Congress, hypocritically, got all the credit for many of the things we pushed through."
Hitting out at the West Bengal government where the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has suffered its worst defeat in three decades, Bardhan admitted that the Singur and Nandigram violence lost the Left the elections.
"Even when Singur and Nandigram was happening there were people in the Left who objected and criticised what was happening. I wrote a series of articles against it."
Bardhan, who said he was in a "self-reflective" mood, said all the parties of the Left must introspect and that "no one can be excluded from taking personal responsibility".