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Left bastion crumbles in Kerala, West Bengal

Saturday May 16, 2009 04:21:14 PM, Press Trust of India




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NEW DELHI: Dramatic reversals suffered by the Left parties in the Lok Sabha polls will result in their being confined to sidelines after they held centrestage in national politics in the past five years.

The Left bastion in West Bengal and Kerala crumbled and heavily dented by alliances led by the Congress after breathing fire against its estranged partner and forging unity with the regional parties under the banner of Third Front with their tally going down by more than half.

The four parties--CPI-M, CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc-- had a total tally of 60 in the 2004 elections

In Kerala where the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front had got 19 of the 20 seats in 2004, this time got only four.

A major factor, according to analysts, was the serious factional fight amongst top CPI(M) leaders—Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan and party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

In West Bengal where the Left had fought Trinamool Congress on issues relating to industrialisation and land acquisition, the Mamata Banerjee-led party and Congress gave them a drubbing, bringing down the Left tally to its lowest level.

The Trinamool Congress-Congress combine increased its lead in 24 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal while its electoral ally SUCI was ahead in one seat trends of which were available till 1300 hrs.

Of the 42 seats, CPI-M-led ruling Left Front was leading in 16 constituencies.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh has established a lead of more than 2.40 lakh votes in Darjeeling constituency.

Trinamool Congress alone established a lead in 18 seats while its poll partner Congress was ahead in six constituencies.

Of the 16 seats, the LF candidates were leading the CPI-M was ahead in 10, RSP-2, CPI-2 and Forward Bloc- 2.

Prominent among those leading were External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee (Jangipur), Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee (Kolkata South) and Deepa Dasmunshi, wife of Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi in Raigunj constituency and Basudeb Acharya (CPI-M).

In their attack against the Congress-led UPA
government, the Left parties had raised a major hue and cry over the Indo-US nuclear deal and later withdrew support with less than a year to go before their UPA term came to an end.



Alliance Leads Results Change Total
UPA 164 97   261
NDA 105 53   158
Third Front 61 19   80
Fourth Front 23 4   27
Others 12 5   17
Awaited       0

Source: ndtv.com







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