Terming the rout of the Left in West Bengal as a "big setback", CPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy on Monday said the Left parties need to look for new ideas and strategy to gain the lost ground and expand their influence.Reddy, however, asserted they were not worried about the future as losing and winning elections were "inevitable" but it was important to think about methods to reorganise themselves.
According to him, the Left has lost ground in different states in recent years following the emergence of regional outfits and "neoliberal economic policies" which created a "different type of economic situation"."We have to think of a method on how to reorganise, go nearer to people and bring them into struggles and agitations and expand the influence of the Left. We are trying for it," Reddy told PTI in Hyderabad.
Before the advent of regional parties the Left was the main opposition in many states, including Punjab, the undivided Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, he said."So, it's a reality. It's not that we look at them(regional parties) as our enemies. These types of things do happen in Parliamentary democracy and casteist parties cost us in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," he stated.
After the West Bengal election results, Reddy said, the Left parties needed to go for an introspection. "We don't feel there is any need to change our basic ideas of fighting against capitalism, neoliberal policies and all that. On that there is no compromise."Setback in elections? Yes, we are ready to face it but about strategy and tactics and going nearer to people, mobilising larger sections...for that we need new ideas and strategy," he said.
Reddy said the Left parties should introspect as to why they were not able to convert into votes the support of people who backed their struggles and agitations.On West Bengal elections where the Left had struck an understanding with the Congress, he said, "What went wrong is to be discussed. Whether the vote of Congress is not transferred to the Left intentionally or whether Congress voters were not ready to reconcile with the Left. Only after a proper discussion, we can come to conclusions."
Reddy rejected suggestions that the Congress-Left understanding was "unprincipled" but admitted that "because Congress was the main political opponent (of the Left) for a long period, many people were unable to digest this type of understanding and for many people it was like 'compromise'".
He, however, said the Left and the Congress, the opposition parties in West Bengal for the past five years, were "targets" of the ruling Trinamool Congress."So, there was a pressure from some sections (for an understanding), but whether it was right to go tactically or not...apparently it looks like it did not help the Left," he added.