Left shocked by dramatic drop in vote share in Bengal

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on May 16, 2014

Biman Bose Chairman, Left Front, in Kolkata on Friday. He said that pollresults were unexpected. - ASHOKE CHAKRABARTY   -  Business Line

Blames TMC of mass scale rigging

The CPI(M)-led Left Front suffered its worst-ever electoral defeat in West Bengal in this Lok Sabha polls. It won just 2 of the 42 seats; ceding space mostly to the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Left’s vote share, that has been on a consistent decline since 2009 (43 per cent), stood at a new low of 29 per cent in this election. On behalf of the Front, the CPI(M) won two seats in Raiganj and Murshidabad from Congress.

“Between 1952 and 2014, this is our (LF) worst performance. Results have been unexpected,” Biman Bose, Left Front Chairman, told reporters. “We need to work on consolidating our voter base,” he added.

According to him, vote percentages would have been different if the ruling party did not resort mass scale rigging and intimidation of voters.

The Left Front constituents will soon meet and decide on a future plan of action including aligning with “secular forces”.

Asked if the declining vote share was a result of leadership crisis, Bose refused to acknowledge the same.

He also refused to take questions on whether the Left Front was losing its relevance in Bengal.

Rabin Deb, a State committee member of CPI(M), however, felt the party failed to cash in on the anti-incumbency against the Trinamool in the State and the Congress in the Centre.

“People who were anti-TMC went with the BJP. The swing was definitely in favour of the BJP. Plus some anti-Congress and anti-incumbency factor saw them perform well,” he said.

Published on May 16, 2014

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