WB Polls: Congress added insult to Lefts injury

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress might have single-handedly thrashed CPI(M) and its allies in West Bengal elections but it is Congress which has added insult to the Left party`s injury by winning more seats in the state.

However, CPI(M) has something to cheer for in Kerala where it lost power by a whisker by becoming the single- largest party in the state, getting seven more seats than their principal rival which leads the UDF coalition.

At its strong-hold for 34 years in Bengal, the CPI(M) entered the hall of ignominy by falling behind Congress by two seats this time.

In its worst drubbing in Bengal, CPI(M) won only 40 seats, down from last time`s 176 while Congress won 42 seats this time, a 100 per cent increase in its tally from 21 in 2006.

Left allies also had a bad showing with CPI winning only two seats this time while it won eight last time. The Forward Bloc, which won 23 last time, could manage to drive home in 11 seats only.

In Kerala, the Congress combine has won with a wafer thin majority winning 72 seats out of the total 140, and Congress has won 38 seats, 14 up from 2006`s figure.

However, the LDF major CPI(M) has wrested 47 seats this time, including two independents it backed. Last elections, CPI(M) had won 65 seats, including four independents it backed, while its partners won another 39 seats to help the alliance touch 100 seats.

This situation, however, does not provide any headache for the Governor as the pre-poll alliance of UDF has a clear majority.

Also, senior CPI(M) leaders V S Achutanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan have said the LDF would function as an effective opposition, fighting corruption and the `anti-people` policies of the government.

Attributing UDF`s victory to "polarisation of communal forces", Achutanandan said the LDF would not try to form a government by exploiting the slender UDF victory margin.

"We accept the people`s verdict. We will sit in the Opposition and continue to fight corruption," the 87-year-old veteran Marxist leader said.

The party position in Kerala: Muslim League 20, CPI 13, Kerala Congress-M 9, JD-S 4, SJ-D 2, Kerala Congress-J 1, KRSP-B 1, KC-B 1, NCP 2, RSP 2 and Independents (Left) 2.

The CPI(M) maintained that the results of West Bengal and Kerala was a disappointment for the "Left and democratic forces" but this will not make the Left policies and programmes "irrelevant" for the country.