Bihar assembly elections- resurgent left parties leading on 19 seats

 In 2015 elections, CPI-ML was the only left party which won three seats

The resurgent left parties in Bihar are doing well in the assembly elections. The decision to field young working class candidates including student, farmers and community leaders is paying back. Three Left parties -- CPI (M-L), CPM and CPI -- are leading in 18 of the 29 seats they contested this time, the EC trends show. This is just one short of the Congress, the other Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) ally that is leading in 20 of the 70 seats it contested. The Left parties have, in fact, showed highest winning rate among all parties, poll analysts said. Left parties are almost 60% seats they contested.   

As of now, the CPI (M-L), the biggest left party in Bihar, is leading in 12 of the 19 seats it contested. The CPIM is leading in three of the four seats it contested while the CPI gaining in three of the six seats it contested the poll panel data said.

"It looks like Left has helped the MGB while Congress has emerged as a weak point within the MGB," Ajoy Bose, author and columnist told the media.The poor showing of Congress might give an edge to BJP led NDA/JD-U alliance. Instead of increasing its tally of seats in this election, it has failed to   defend at least 07 seats  it won in 2015. Congress is just winning 34% of seats it contested. 

In the 2015 elections, CPI (M-L) was the only Left party that won seats -- three of the 98 it contested. It won six seats in 2000, seven in the February 2005 Assembly polls, and five in the elections held in October 2005. It could not win any seat in the 2010 elections when the NDA won 206 of 243 seats.

This time, the Left parties contested elections as part of the Grand Alliance comprising the RJD and the Congress.  The CPM and CPI had earlier contested elections with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD; the CPI (M-L) became an alliance partner led by RJD for the first time, however.

As per the seat-sharing agreement between the grand alliance constituents for Bihar Assembly Elections, the CPI(M) was given four seats, the CPI got six and the CPI-ML (Liberation) 19. These included some seats the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had won in the 2015 Assembly polls.

According to Election Commission of India (ECI) website, the CPI(M) and the CPI were leading in three seats each while the CPI-ML (Liberation) was leading in 12 seats. In 2010, only the CPI had managed to win a seat in Bihar while in 2015, the CPI-ML (Liberation) grabbed three seats as the other two Left parties drew a blank.

“The leads so far are on the expected lines and we hope to catch up in three more seats. This was a different kind of election. This was more a people’s movement. We banked on young

Candidates, student leaders, candidates who were part of farmer struggles, working class people. That seems to have worked,” Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation, said.

According to Left leaders, while the alliance with the two parties has helped in vote conversion, what has also led to the good performance is the cadre base of the three parties that helped spread the reach of the grand alliance.

The trends for all the 243 seats are out on the Election Commission website. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which has Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) as its constituents, is leading in 124 seats. The BJP is emerging as the senior partner this time, as it is leading on 74 of the 110 seats it contested and JD (U) on 47 of the 115 seats it contested.

The RJD led grand alliance is leading on 108 seats. RJD is leading on 70 seats while Congress is leading on just 20 seats.  The left parties are leading on 18 seats.

                                                                   Khalid Bhatti 


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