Facing an anti-incumbency wave for the first time since it came to power, the Left Front has found a way to get round the problem. Of the 294 seats in the state, it is putting up 149 candidates the electorate has not tested before.
Of the 149, the leading Front partner, the CPI(M), accounts for 111, or 75%. And more than 70 of the 111 are from local and zonal committees, the two lowermost rungs of the party.The strategy is clear of the formation - offer as many fresh faces as possible to lure the youth voters and blunt the opposition's criticism of the party carrying a baggage of corruption.
"While the opposition is depending on retired persons, people who had never been in politics in the prime of their life, our strategy is to bring young people who pack in energy, attitude and style. Politics survives on the power of the youth, just as in other sectors such as banking, finance and IT," said Mohammed Selim, central committee member.
The list is also in harmony with the Left's style of politics.
In West Bengal, the CPI(M) has traditionally practised a brand of politics that takes its cadre to the doorstep of the electorate, maintaining regular contact and even helping the people.