Left will have no role in government formation

May 16th, 2009 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The Left will have no role in government formation at the centre, in a dramatic turnaround in the political situation, as till the start of counting Saturday it was widely believed that the Communists would play a pivotal role.
But as voting trends came in Saturday, the Left leaders sat at their headquarters in Delhi watching in dismay and disbelief the collapse of their strongholds - West Bengal and Kerala.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat, who had come to see the election as a referendum on the Left’s ideological stance as opposed to that of the Congress, acknowledged that the results were a “major setback” for them.

He agreed that the people all over the country had voted “on the basis of the platform put forward” by the Congress and its allies.

He said the root cause for the Left parties’ dismal performance in Kerala and West Bengal would be discussed in its politburo and the central committee meetings May 18-19.

Looking crestfallenm Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan conceded defeat.

“No denial that the Congress has won. We will continue to sit in the opposition, as we always have,” Bardhan told reporters.

“It is the tragedy of a sectarian political line,” said senior CPI leader C.K. Chandrappan, in a Communist leader’s first open criticism of CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat’s anti-Congress stand.

“We contributed a lot to the UPA government’s pro-people programmes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). But we withdrew our support to the UPA government for adopting imperialist policies, a subject that the people are not much concerned about,” Chandrappan, who is the deputy leader of the party in the outgoing Lok Sabha, told IANS.

The Left had withdrawn its support to the UPA government July 2008 over the India-US nuclear deal.

Chandrappan said the Left must do an overall review of its policies.

“An overall review of its policies is needed,” he said.

Karat had pompously ruled out any truck with the Congress post-poll and was confident that the Left would play a critical role in the formation of the new government. He had even suggested that the Congress should support a Third Front government where the Communists would play a dominant role.

“If it is a minority government issue, then the Congress should support a Third Front government,” Karat had said.

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