The election defeat in Tripura “is a major setback” for the CPI-M and the Left, the Communist Party of India-Marxist has said.
“This is the first time the Left Front had to fight the BJP as its main opponent,” said an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy”.
“The electoral loss must lead to a critical evaluation of our political, ideological and organisational work to counter the offensive of the BJP-RSS combine. The coming Party Congress should help us to equip the party to face the forthcoming battles effectively.”
While blaming the BJP for many electoral ills, the CPI-M said that the BJP campaigned on a slogan of change.
“It looks like this has struck a chord with the young generation of voters, particularly the urban and tribal youth.
“Despite the all-round positive performance of the Left Front government, the fact remains that generating jobs for the educated youth posed a big challenge.”
Saying the Tripura Assembly election had delivered “an unexpected verdict”, the editorial said the BJP-IPFT alliance won a two-third majority of the seats polling 50.5 per cent (BJP- 43 per cent and IPFT 7.5 per cent).
The Left Front, which had been in office for 25 long years, got only 16 seats though it polled 45 per cent of the vote.
The editorial said the Congress saw a wholesale defection to the BJP. This resulted in the Congress vote share of 36.54 per cent in 2013 plunging to 1.8 per cent now.
It said the scale of the money pumped into Tripura before the elections was unprecedented.
“Well before the elections, a huge amount of money was deployed to win over the candidates of the other bourgeois parties. Mobile phone and motorcycles were distributed and various allurements provided to the ordinary people in selected areas. The bourgeois media in the state was suborned to project the BJP and mount a negative campaign against the Left Front government.”
The CPI-M said it would have to examine carefully what has caused the alienation of sections of the tribal people.
“There has to be a critical examination of the work of the Left Front government and the functioning of the local bodies and panchayats to find out if links with the people were weakened in some sectors.
“Such an examination is also required for the Party organisation and work of the mass organisations.”