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Left parties to undertake mass mobilisation to revive base in State

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, June 13 - Following the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the Left parties are now keen on undertaking mass mobilisation and other political activities with a view to revive their base in Assam as well as other parts of the country.

Leaders of both the major Left outfits � the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) � admitted that failure to connect with the masses as well as other �tactical and strategic shortcomings� resulted in their rout in the parliamentary polls.

The Left parties are now formulating strategies to rectify the shortcomings and implement time-bound action plans to rebuild their organisational base in the State.

�The political and tactical line adopted by our party was not incorrect. But we failed in implementing that line. We have lost touch with the masses to a great extent. While detailed review of our Lok Sabha poll performance is yet to be carried out, the general assessment we have formed is that we failed to carry our message to the masses,� CPI(M) central committee member Suprakash Talukdar told The Assam Tribune.

The CPI (M) Assam State committee will meet on June 18-19 in Guwahati where a time-bound programme for revival of the party will be chalked out.

�We plan to organise mass-based programmes, agitations and other activities by ourselves as well as jointly with other Left parties. The immediate task is to rebuild our own independent organisational strength in the State and also to undertake coordinated action with other Left and democratic forces,� said the Marxist leader.

Talukdar claimed that the BJP succeeded in �polarizing� the voters during the Lok Sabha elections. �Polarization on religious lines, as well as the government�s action of distributing funds among segments of the population in the name of welfare schemes in the months leading up to the polls helped the ruling party. In addition, the Congress, which is the largest opposition in the State as well as the whole country, failed to adopt the correct role. The Congress is also responsible for the BJP�s victory to a great extent. Besides, we also failed to counter the BJP�s propaganda,� Talukdar said.

Munin Mahanta, the CPI�s Assam unit secretary, echoed Talukdar�s views. �I admit that our party�s base is shrinking. The first task before us is to revive the party and to activate our frontal organisations, take up bread and butter issues which affect the people at the local level, and undertake mass mobilisation and agitations. We will also try to increase coordination with other parties of the Left in the coming days,� Mahanta said.

He added, �The BJP succeeded in changing the country�s political discourse after the Pulwama attacks, barring in some southern States. The ruling party violated all constitutional norms, including announcing policy decisions in the interim Budget. The media houses owned by big corporate entities played a leading role in trying to marginalise the Left, especially the CPI, because we have acted as a stumbling block to the BJP�s attempt to promote crony capitalism and dilute labour laws. In Assam, polarisation pushed us out of the contest. Yet, in both the seats where we fielded candidates, our party came in the third place after the BJP and the Congress.�

The veteran Communist leader accused the Congress of showing reluctance to take other opposition parties along and claimed that it facilitated the BJP to sweep the Lok Sabha polls. �It is also unfortunate that the CPI and the CPI(M) had to contest against each other in Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency on account of organisational compulsions. We want to ensure that such things are not repeated in future,� Mahanta said.

He added that the CPI will try to have some sort of understanding with the other Left parties for the forthcoming elections to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and the other urban local bodies of the State.

Both the CPI and the CPI(M) fielded candidates from two constituencies each in Assam during the Lok Sabha polls. While the CPI contested from Lakhimpur and Jorhat, the CPI(M) was in the fray in Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar. All the candidates lost their deposits.

Nationally too, the electoral performance of the Left was its worst ever. The Left won only five seats � three by the CPI(M) and two by the CPI. The Left drew a blank in its traditional strongholds of West Bengal and Tripura. Even in Kerala, which is ruled by the Left, the CPI(M) managed to win just one seat. The only saving grace was Tamil Nadu, where both the Left parties secured two seats each as part of the DMK-led alliance.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) won one seat in Kerala. However, the RSP, while being part of the Left Front nationally, is a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala.

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Left parties to undertake mass mobilisation to revive base in State

GUWAHATI, June 13 - Following the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the Left parties are now keen on undertaking mass mobilisation and other political activities with a view to revive their base in Assam as well as other parts of the country.

Leaders of both the major Left outfits � the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) � admitted that failure to connect with the masses as well as other �tactical and strategic shortcomings� resulted in their rout in the parliamentary polls.

The Left parties are now formulating strategies to rectify the shortcomings and implement time-bound action plans to rebuild their organisational base in the State.

�The political and tactical line adopted by our party was not incorrect. But we failed in implementing that line. We have lost touch with the masses to a great extent. While detailed review of our Lok Sabha poll performance is yet to be carried out, the general assessment we have formed is that we failed to carry our message to the masses,� CPI(M) central committee member Suprakash Talukdar told The Assam Tribune.

The CPI (M) Assam State committee will meet on June 18-19 in Guwahati where a time-bound programme for revival of the party will be chalked out.

�We plan to organise mass-based programmes, agitations and other activities by ourselves as well as jointly with other Left parties. The immediate task is to rebuild our own independent organisational strength in the State and also to undertake coordinated action with other Left and democratic forces,� said the Marxist leader.

Talukdar claimed that the BJP succeeded in �polarizing� the voters during the Lok Sabha elections. �Polarization on religious lines, as well as the government�s action of distributing funds among segments of the population in the name of welfare schemes in the months leading up to the polls helped the ruling party. In addition, the Congress, which is the largest opposition in the State as well as the whole country, failed to adopt the correct role. The Congress is also responsible for the BJP�s victory to a great extent. Besides, we also failed to counter the BJP�s propaganda,� Talukdar said.

Munin Mahanta, the CPI�s Assam unit secretary, echoed Talukdar�s views. �I admit that our party�s base is shrinking. The first task before us is to revive the party and to activate our frontal organisations, take up bread and butter issues which affect the people at the local level, and undertake mass mobilisation and agitations. We will also try to increase coordination with other parties of the Left in the coming days,� Mahanta said.

He added, �The BJP succeeded in changing the country�s political discourse after the Pulwama attacks, barring in some southern States. The ruling party violated all constitutional norms, including announcing policy decisions in the interim Budget. The media houses owned by big corporate entities played a leading role in trying to marginalise the Left, especially the CPI, because we have acted as a stumbling block to the BJP�s attempt to promote crony capitalism and dilute labour laws. In Assam, polarisation pushed us out of the contest. Yet, in both the seats where we fielded candidates, our party came in the third place after the BJP and the Congress.�

The veteran Communist leader accused the Congress of showing reluctance to take other opposition parties along and claimed that it facilitated the BJP to sweep the Lok Sabha polls. �It is also unfortunate that the CPI and the CPI(M) had to contest against each other in Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency on account of organisational compulsions. We want to ensure that such things are not repeated in future,� Mahanta said.

He added that the CPI will try to have some sort of understanding with the other Left parties for the forthcoming elections to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and the other urban local bodies of the State.

Both the CPI and the CPI(M) fielded candidates from two constituencies each in Assam during the Lok Sabha polls. While the CPI contested from Lakhimpur and Jorhat, the CPI(M) was in the fray in Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar. All the candidates lost their deposits.

Nationally too, the electoral performance of the Left was its worst ever. The Left won only five seats � three by the CPI(M) and two by the CPI. The Left drew a blank in its traditional strongholds of West Bengal and Tripura. Even in Kerala, which is ruled by the Left, the CPI(M) managed to win just one seat. The only saving grace was Tamil Nadu, where both the Left parties secured two seats each as part of the DMK-led alliance.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) won one seat in Kerala. However, the RSP, while being part of the Left Front nationally, is a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala.