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HVK Archives: Rise in anti-Left votes worries CPM

Rise in anti-Left votes worries CPM - The Telegraph

Posted By Krishnakant Udavant (kkant@bom2.vsnl.net.in)
May 30, 1998

Title: Rise in anti-Left votes worries CPM
Publication: The Telegraph
Date: May 30, 1998

The increase in anti-Left Front rural votes in the just-concluded
panchayat poll has become a cause of worry for the CPM.

A perturbed Biman Bose, CPM Central Committee member and in
charge of the poll, refused to offer any analysis at a crowded
press conference this afternoon.

Fear of the Congress, BJP and the Trinamool Congress coming
together to form panchayat boards in many places is haunting the

"The Congress, the Trinamool and the BJP have joined hands and
tire fighting against us unitedly," CPM state secretary and Left
Front chairman Sailen Dasgupta Mid.

Figures received till this evening indicate a sharp erosion in
the Communist vote bank. Party insiders said this afternoon
results of nearly 21,000 gram panchayat seats suggested a four
per cent drop in the Red vote bank in comparison to 1993.

Around 8 pm, CPM bigwigs at Alimuddin Street said the BJP has won
in nearly 2,000 gram panchayat seats.

Trends also clarified that the Trinamool had roped in the
grassroots support-base of the Con-gress except in a few north
Bengal districts like Cooch Behar and North Dinajpur.

In the 1993 poll, the Congress won in 16,207 gram panchayat
seats. Now, after the formation of the Trinamool, the two parties
together have won in 8,108 seats of the first 26,642 seats
declared. The Trinamool won 5,213 seats and the Congress 2,895.

Even though state Congress leaders are yet to decide on the
possibility of forming a panchayat board with support from the
Trinamool, the CPM does not rule out such a possibility.

Congress MLA Saugata Roy said: "It is a very important decision
for us. We will be in a position to discuss it only after all
results are declared."

With the realisation of the depletion in its vote bank sinking
in, the CPM has begun shifting responsibility on smaller Left
Front constituents with whom it could not arrive at a consensus.
Bose admitted that the CPM's lack of understanding with Front
partners like the RSP and the Forward Bloc, was expected to cost
the party dearly.

The CPM could not arrive 4t a consensus with the RSP and she
Forward Bloc in Jalpaiguri And Cooch Behar. The CPM also had
problems with the Forward Bloc and could not field consensus
candidates at Birbhum.

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