(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 22, 2011
A Long & Arduous Struggle Ahead
THE elections to the
The Party will undertake a comprehensive review of the results to identify the causes which have led to the erosion of support for the Left Front and the political shift that has taken place. Even though the Left Front has garnered an additional eleven lakh votes compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, there is a reduction of 2.2 percentage points in the vote share compared to the Lok Sabha polls. Despite the solid achievements of the three decades of Left rule, the prolonged period in government led to the accumulation of some negative factors. The critical examination of the election trends placing it in the context of the political and organisational work of the Party should help us to chalk out the steps to be taken to rectify the flaws in our approach and remedy the organisational shortcomings.
In Kerala, the LDF lost narrowly falling short by three seats for a majority. The UDF managed to scrape through with a two seat majority. The difference between the UDF and LDF vote share is only 0.89 per cent. This shows that the people were by and large satisfied with the record of the LDF government and there was no anti-incumbency factor at work. The anti-corruption crusade of chief minister V S Achuthanandan also got popular endorsement. Preliminary reports show that a LDF victory was thwarted by the influence wielded by some caste and religious bodies over some sections of the people. A large number of people were not attracted to the Congress alliance given the record of corruption and price-rise under the UPA government at the centre.
The defeat in
That these are patently
assertions can be understood by the fact that the fall of the
The CPI(M) and the Left
Those who are writing the
the CPI(M) and the Left Front in
Another form of attack is to slander the entire record of the Left Front and to demonise the CPI(M) as an authoritarian force which has suppressed the people. Some have gone to the extent of claiming that the earlier victories of the Left Front are due to the repression of anyone who opposed or defied the CPI(M). These critics conveniently forget that in every assembly election since 1977, the anti-Left opposition has got not less than forty per cent of the vote at any time. The CPI(M) and the Left Front had a remarkable record of winning between forty five to fifty per cent of the vote in all previous elections owing to their deep roots among the people and the popular support that they commanded particularly in the rural areas. The vilification of the CPI(M) cadres painting them as despotic and corrupt is a motivated effort to disarm the Party, as it is its dedicated and selfless cadres who are the backbone of the organisation.
An accompanying charge is
Left Front government in West Bengal was inherently anti-democratic and
set up which had stamped out all dissent and imposed a straitjacket on
ROLE OF LEFT-LED
The CPI(M) had evolved its own approach to the running of state governments wherever it is able to get the support of the people. The Left-led governments have to be run in such a way as to strengthen the Left and democratic movement and the movement of the working people. The Party programme has spelt out that such governments should carry out a programme of providing relief to the people and to strive, project and implement alternative policies within the existing limitations. The unique record of the Left Front government in West Bengal shows that it had seriously worked towards this goal. The loss of such a Left-led government is a setback but it cannot be seen as a permanent and fundamental loss. The CPI(M) has always stressed the importance or organising the working people through their own class and mass organisations and developing popular movements and struggles and thereby raising the political consciousness of the people. The formation of the Left-led governments is an outcome of this process.
The CPI(M) will, after the critical examination of the election results, orient itself towards taking up the issues of the basic classes and fighting for the interests of the working people. The political platform of the Left which includes the fight against the neo-liberal economic policies, defending the livelihood of the people, defence of national sovereignty and secularism remains as the only alternative political platform for the country as against those of the ruling class parties like the Congress and the BJP.
In West Bengal, in the changed political situation, the CPI(M) will defend the gains achieved by the people over the last three decades under the Left Front rule. Given the class nature of the ruling alliance, there will be efforts to undo the land reforms and undermine the gains achieved by the working people. We will defend the land reforms and the rights of the bargadars and agricultural workers; the workers will be better organised to fight for their rights and all sections of the working people in defence of their livelihood. The legacy of secularism and communal harmony has to be protected and the divisive forces out to disrupt the unity of the people and integrity of the state countered. All this will be accomplished by strengthening the Left unity.
DEFEND PARTY &
In the aftermath of the elections, the immediate task is to defend the Party, the Left Front and the movement in West Bengal which has already come under attack. Soon after the election results, there have been scores of attacks on offices of the Party and trade unions. Murderous violence has been unleashed against the cadres and supporters of the CPI(M) and the Left Front. Within the first two days, two leaders of the CPI(M) were brutally killed. The Trinamul Congress wants to utilise the election victory to eliminate physically the CPI(M) and the Left in many areas. This has to be resisted and fought back. The democratic sentiments of the people in West Bengal have to be roused against such violence. The entire Party, the Left and democratic forces in the country stand steadfastly with the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal to rebuff such attacks.