Left intervention to rise after state win: Karat

Karat told reporters in New Delhi that the Left Front's sweeping win in West Bengal was "splendid."

india Updated: May 11, 2006 17:59 IST

The Left's intervention in national politics will increase in the wake of its victories in Kerala and West Bengal, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Thursday.

Karat told reporters in New Delhi that the Left Front's sweeping win in West Bengal was "splendid" and credited the Left Democratic Front (LDF) with making inroads into traditional non-communist bastions in Kerala.

"Overall these results have strengthened the role of the Left in national politics," he said.

"Since the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, our party has been playing a leading role. We look forward to increased intervention after this election," he said.

The Left Front led by the CPI(M) won assembly elections for a seventh straight term in West Bengal, crushing the splintered opposition. In Kerala, it returned to power after five years in the opposition benches.

"We are very glad that the Left Front has achieved this splendid victory (in West Bengal)," he said. "The results show that we have not only retained all those sections of the working people who have traditionally been with the Left but also gained new sections of the people."

About Kerala, he said, "After a long time the LDF has got such a decisive majority. In the past two years, LDF was gaining support from even sections who traditionally used to vote for UDF (United Democratic Front)."

He referred to inroads made by the LDF into strongholds of the Indian Union Muslim League, which was the second largest partner in the outgoing UDF.

"The LDF has breached the traditional polarizations in Kerala. For us it is a very positive thing.

"We also welcome the results of the Tamil Nadu elections, the victory of the DMK-led alliance. We will extend cooperation to a DMK government."

The CPI(M) won nine seats in Tamil Nadu and two in Assam.

Karat also called for a debate on the powers of the Election Commission but made it clear that in no way should its autonomy be curtailed.

"There should be reforms in the Election Commission. We would like to see reforms by all concerned without anyway detracting from its independence. It is a valued institution."

First Published: May 11, 2006 17:59 IST