New Delhi: The West Bengal election results left few lessons for the communists too. One lesson is - As you sow shall you reap. Many Left candidates forfeited their deposits.
How the communists' campaign got derailed? Insiders say the Left Front missed their star campaigners.
They missed Sitaram Yechury, whose son had fallen ill due to Covid around the poll time and sadly he young man expired on April 22.
On the suggestion of a section of leaders, CPI-M strategists invited former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. But within days of his campaigning the schedules ought to be curtailed.
"Suddenly, the cadres and supporters realised that Manik Da's speeches were getting focused on attack on the BJP. Of course, the BJP is no friend, but the chief electoral opponent in Bengal was Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee. We were missing these," a source said.
At one point even Mamata Banerjee quoted Manik Sarkar herself to highlight mis-governance in Tripura under Biplab Deb government of the BJP-led NDA dispensation. All these went on helping Trinamool.
Sources said one such rally of Mr Sarkar was at Burdwan where he went onto say: "You will better appreciate from the experience of Tripura and the entire country, you all saw the central government’s role against farmers,
minorities and others......Don’t even think of bringing the BJP. They will say give us a chance we never ruled Bengal, but this should not happen".
"Do not ruin your state (by voting for BJP)....," went his speech reportedly amid cheers from the gathering.
"You don’t need to talk to CPI-M leaders when you visit Tripura; but you talk to common people and rickshaw pullers, they will tell you the reality of Tripura under BJP".
Finally when the results came in, the CPI-M got just 4.68 percent of the votes whereas CPI got 0.2 percent in a state which was their 'forte' for 34 long years.
The vote share of CPI(ML) was 0.03 percent even as many Left leaders after the results on May 2 said, "Essentially the Bengal verdict is victory of Left ideology and it signals defeat of the BJP. But the victory shied went to Trinamool".
They scored zero in Lok Sabha polls too. The CPI-M had contested 136 of the total 294 seats. RSP, CPI and the Forward Bloc fought in 11, 10 and 22 seats, respectively. Net results - cipher.
Even the 'chief vote catcher' card of the Trinamool Congress - promise of home delivery of free rations is basically a Left idea, they felt.
The Left Front gamble of fielding 70 percent of candidates in the age bracket of 25-50, did not help either.
In Durgapur region, educationist Roshomoy Dutta said, "I was pro-Left. But the big worry is the Left now is left leaking wounds. But as self-styled political moral teachers, they would not draw any lesson themselves. Instead, look at what has happened to Congress across the nationwide after Rahul Gandhi flirted with ultra-Left approach and had even dragged Congress to raise 'tukde tukde slogans".
Its prominent faces among youngsters, Meenakshi Mukherjee could not even save her deposit in Nandigram. She got 6267 votes, just 2.47 percent of the 2.28 lakh valid votes.
JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh, one of those protagonists of JNU protest who rejoiced in embarrassing the Modi regime, stood a distant third as CPI candidate in Jamuria constituency.
Now at the end of it, the Left explanation for the worse debacle since Independence is - "The reason behind this outcome is people’s desperation to defeat the BJP. The Front will discuss within itself, and the member parties will discuss amongst themselves, the reason behind this defeat and learn from it".
It has been a story of opposing - for the sake of hating Narendra Modi.
In issue-based argument and political economy; noteban is said to be a pro-communism doctrine. But Indian Left has always decided things otherwise. In 2016, Sitaram Yechury agreed for tele talks with Mamata Banerjee on demonestisation. This was a turning point.
Illustrious socialist George Fernandes once said, "I was always pro-Left in thinking. Indian communists have made me change my opinion. Left can always see that you are left in the lurch".
So goes their legacy and story !