As the Lok Sabha election 2019 draws closer, the seat-sharing formulas between the political parties have been finalized and the list of candidates are being announced. Among these franctic activities just before the 2019 General Elections, the left is in disarray.
The left has failed to strike alliance in any state. Over the years since independence, the left witnessed a steady growth in the state of West Bengal. The Left Front had an undefeated government in the state for 34 long years since 1977. Over the years the party watched its slow death, with losing the minority vote bank to TMC and the refuge vote bank to the BJP. Now, it is just left to the position of reminiscing its past glories, somewhat like the grand old party. In 2014, the CPM, as well as the Left Front, managed to secure just 2seats out of 42 Lok Sabha seats of the state. This time around, The Left Front had initiated a seat-sharing deal with the Congress but eventually decided to go alone after they were unable to reach a conclusion as to the seat sharing.
“Had we been able to clinch the seat-sharing deal, results in various seats would have been different. We could have been a more credible secular alternative to the TMC,” CPM Central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said.
Now the party is struggling to even retain those 2 seats they had secured in 2014. Moreover, According to an internal party report, the CPM does not have organization to arrange for polling agents in at least 30 percent of the 77,000 polling stations of the state.
Completely understanding the sorry state of affairs and the dreadful situation they are in, CPM politburo member Hannan Mollah stated, “Being in power for three long decades probably led to decay in our organization. Had we lost once and returned to power during this period, the situation could have been better.”
West Bengal is going to face a four-cornered contest among the TMC, the BJP, the Left Front and the Congress, out of which the Left, once occupying a glorious centre in West Bengal has been relegated to the third position, barely faring better than the grand old party. It ceases to even be the main opposition.
Similarly, in Kerala, the Communist party’s other strong hold; they have again been rendered quite insignificant. With BJP’s hold over the state increasing, and CPI’s grip loosening, the state is all set to undergo monumental changes this time. The left has lost significant public support after the whole Sabarimala issue. Sabarimala is a temple in Kerala which housed the Ayyappan shrine. Since Lord Ayyappan was worshipped as a celibate god, women between the ages of 10-50 (menstruating age) were not allowed inside the temple. The Supreme Court had given a judgment regarding the same, which allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. This became a controversial issue with devotees all over the state and beyond, condemning and criticising the judgment. In this situation, the leftist government of Kerala was vigorously trying to enforce the judgment. They had also spread fabrications and interfered in judicial proceedings by claiming that 51 women had entered the temple, when in actual only 2 had entered. Moreover, the communist party had organised a Women’s Wall event on January 1, where a large number, as claimed by the government, of Christian and Muslim women also participated with placards attacking “Brahminical Patriarchy” and in demand for the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple premises. In light of this patronage of “women empowerment”, the left has hypocritically fielded only 2 women candidates out of the 20 seats in Kerala. Such antics of the left have made them very unpopular among the males as well as the females.
Moreover, it has come to light that the son of a local CPI leader has been involved in the kidnapping and sexual harassment of a 14-year-old girl, who is being protected by the local police. This is in addition to the other violence and terror charges on the CPM. Countless BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers have lost their lives in recent years owing to violence by the CPI(M) party members. The Communist party not just protects its thugs but also instigates them to commit such evil acts on a regular basis. CPI(M) had also provided protection to fundamentalist Islamic organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala which had numerous charges of murder, indulging in violence and communal clashes on its members.
I visited the families of 2 innocent youngsters who were killed by CPM. The CPM thinks that they can remain in power in Kerala through violence. Kerala is a land of justice and these youngsters will get justice: CP @RahulGandhi#VaravayiRahulGandhiYugam pic.twitter.com/J9WIDD8f5T
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 14, 2019
Such charges of corruption, violence, and hypocrisy against the left coupled with BJP giving the people a fresh nationalistic outlook have rendered left’s popularity very low.
In Tripura, the situation is just as bad for the left. In 2018, BJP ended the 25 years rule of Left when they lost the assembly elections.
The gradual decline in Left’s electoral power is reflected in the substantial reduction in its bargaining prowess. This decline was perhaps best manifested in left’s utter failure to secure a seat for its new star entrant, Kanhaiya Kumar on Begusarai seat in Bihar.
Kanhaiya was supposed to be a star entrant by contesting from Begusarai in 2019 General elections but left was so irrelevant that he failed to gain consensus in his own state. CPI will be contesting elections solo in Bihar as neither RJD nor Congress wants to be associated with them.
2019 comprehensively paints a grim picture for the Left. With no electoral or bargaining power; they are rendered without any power. The ideological decay being complete, left is well on its way towards political irrelevancy as well and 2019 might be its last electoral stand with any sort of earnestness.