[Following the publication of the previous post – the statement on the future of the Left, we have received some important comments that seek to take the debate forward, alongside those predictable, invective laden rants that we know only too well by now. We need to keep the debate on the future of the Left in India going, irrespective of these comments that seek to derail any meaningful discussion. We must continue to assert that ‘the Left’ far exceeds the decadent and decrepit lot that now goes by the name of Left parties in this country. This post is a slightly modified and longer version of an article that appeared in Bengali yesterday in Ekdin.]
In a recent newspaper article, former Left Front finance minister Ashok Mitra, observed: “The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has not merely lost the poll in West Bengal, it has been made mincemeat of.” He was underlining the obvious, catastrophic significance of the results – at least from the Left Front’s perspective. The signs are there for everybody to see, especially when all important leaders of the LF government have faced resounding defeat and the overall vote share of the LF has declined by almost 9 percent since the last assembly election. Mitra’s reference is important as much was being made of the fact that he signed in support of the LF in the course of the election campaign.
But such was the state of drunkenness in power, that only a Biman Bose could say, when virtually everyone knew what was coming, that the LF would still gain a comfortable majority and those who were predicting their decline would have to “swallow their own spit.” More incredibly, even after the elections, indeed after the results came in, both Bose and Prakash Karat in Delhi focused on the fact that their votes had increased by 11 lakh votes in absolute terms. Of course, the minor detail they mentioned in passing was that the TMC alliance had increased its votes much more. The even more minor point that there had been as many as 4.8 million more votes polled this time as compared to 2009 was, of course, beside the point.