Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat admitted on Saturday that the Left had suffered "a major setback" in the Lok Sabha elections.
As election results showed that the Left strength in the 545-member Lok Sabha could fall under 25, from the 60-plus of 2004, Karat conceded that the Congress and its allies had won the electoral battle.
"The CPI-M and the Left parties have suffered a major setback in these elections," he said, reading out a prepared statement. "This necessitates a serious examination of the reasons for the Party's poor performance."
Karat said the CPI-M "will continue its cooperation with the non-Congress, non-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) secular parties with whom we have been working".
"The CPI-M assures all those who have reposed faith in the party that we will continue to champion the interests of the working people, national sovereignty and secularism."
Karat said the party's politburo would meet in New Delhi to discuss threadbare the reasons for the Left rout in its two traditional bastions in West Bengal and Kerala.