Left parties found themselves sidelined in 2013

New Delhi, Jan 2: Having been at the receiving end since Trinamool Congress came to power in West Bengal in 2011, Left parties are now finding themselves sidelined in the political schematic and making efforts to cobble a formation of regional parties after the upcoming general elections.

Being out of power in their erstwhile bastion of West Bengal, these parties are now banking on states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu to at least maintain their presence in the Lok Sabha where the Left currently has 24 seats.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) factor, a new phenomenon in the national polity, has also affected parties like CPI(M), CPI, RSP, CPI(ML) and Forward Bloc, with AAP succeeding in Delhi, taking on major parties like Congress and BJP to form government.

Left, particularly the CPI(M), experienced near decimation in the recent polls.

During the year gone by in Bengal, the Left, particularly the CPI(M), experienced near decimation in the recent polls to the panchayats and local bodies with the ruling Trinamool Congress garnering most of the seats, many of them even unopposed. Almost the same fate was also experienced by the Congress.

In protest against widespread violence against the entire opposition in West Bengal, the Left parties also expressed apprehension about a repeat of alleged Trinamool-sponsored violence and intimidation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. They moved the Centre as well as the Election Commission seeking their intervention to ensure free and fair elections.

Having been on the backfoot in their stronghold, the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, CPI(ML) and Forward Bloc are now seeking to work for a combination of regional secular parties to fight the Congress as well as the BJP across the country. They are also expecting a new combination after the general elections this year, saying the major parties would fall short of an absolute majority.

"It is now clear that the Congress-led UPA will not be in power after the upcoming parliamentary elections. While Congress will get only 110-120 seats, BJP can succeed on some more seats, but will not get more than 150 seats," veteran communist A B Bardhan recently said, adding that the Left parties were expecting a new combination to come to power.


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