In the face of an aggressive Trinamool Congress and the Congress, the red citadel continues to crumble in both Kerala and West Bengal. The bypoll results, however, have been on expected lines. In a way, the poll results come as further confirmation of the Left’s current standing both in state and national politics.
For Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister’s chair has come that much closer. The Left’s dilemma is everything it touches turns to dross. This time it has only itself to blame. In Kerala, CPI(M) chief Pinarayi Vijayan brazenly disregarded the wishes of the rank and file and tried to promote his own protégés while undermining the CM. All this with the tacit support of Delhi’s AKG Bhawan. In West Bengal, the leadership’s handling of several crises led to an erosion of confidence. Thanks to the muzzling tactics of those at the top, no viable second-rung leadership seems to be on the horizon.
The Left has nothing to offer and this vacuum of ideas is now showing. These by-polls show that it no longer seems to have the will to hold on to its territories. The crushing defeat should knock some sense into the Left to try and make itself relevant once again.