Thursday, May 18, 2006

CPI Wins Again in West Bengal

It looks like Bengal has yet another Communist government. And here is evidence that it wasn't, as was widely believed, due to poll rigging.

What follows naturally, is a bitter pill for those who believed that the CPI-M has clung onto power in West Bengal only through rigging. It is time to accept the reality of mass support for the Left Front in West Bengal. "I was not at all worried about the outcome. Had I been worried, I would have come to the office before the start of counting," was CPI-M State Secretary Biman Bose's reaction when asked about the results. It was typically CPI-M. So are the other reactions from Left leaders like 92-year-old former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu: "It was a reflection of people's faith in our policies and we hope that the Opposition will cooperate with the government in its good work and play a responsible role."

Bhattacharya, Sumit. "The message from Bengal." 11 May 2006 18 May 2006
But, it appears they didn't win by all that much.

But what is hidden in the numbers is the message that had the Opposition been not so disunited -- though there was a sort of informal cobbled coalition at the grassroots -- this assembly election could have been a very different story.

One pointer to that lies in the margins. Transport and Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty, one of the CPI-M's electoral heavyweights, won his Belgachia East seat by only 1,744 votes. Of course there were exceptions like Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who won by 58,000 votes from his Jadavpur constituency, but overall the margins are thin. But what is the secret of the Left Front's success in West Bengal? The answer is that the CPI-M's organisation at the grassroots is unparalleled in the country.
Politics is not for any honest person.


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