Lok Sabha polls: Fingers crossed for Left as all eyes set on Kerala

Deccan Chronicle.  | gilvester assary

Nation, Current Affairs

The CPI leadership is confident that Kanhaiah Kumar will pull off a sensational victory in Begusarai

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: With exit poll results painting a grim picture of Left performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the leadership is keeping its fingers crossed over the outcome.

All hopes rest on ruling LDF’s performance in Kerala as the possibility of victory in other states barring Tamil Nadu where the Left candidates are likely to wrest a couple of seats, look grim.  

While chief minister Pinaryi Vijayan has repeatedly claimed a big victory for LDF and CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan confident of a repeat of 2004 when the Left won 18 of the 20 seats, realistic assessment suggest that the ruling front might romp home with five to six seats.

Outside Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Left front hopes to win Arrah Lok Sabha constituency where Raju Yadav of CPI(ML) is pitted against union minister R.K. Singh. The CPI leadership is confident that Kanhaiah Kumar will pull off  a sensational victory in Begusarai

The CPM was hopeful of winning Jadavpur constituency in West Bengal where party’s popular leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya is in the fray and it also expected Dr Fuad Halim to spring a surprise from Daimond Harbour. But the bitter fight between Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine and Mamata Banjerjee which culminated in bloody violence in the last days of final phase has polarized the state badly diminishing whatever little chances the non-TMC and non-BJP parties had in Bengal.

The exit polls results have predicted that the Left parties would draw a blank in Bengal. But what is worrying is the shocking indication that party’s vote share could go down from 25 per cent to 5 per cent. Party sources admitted that there would be a drop but not to this extent. The vote share is likely to go down to 12 per cent or 17 per cent.

The CPM leaders say over 200 Left workers have been killed in Bengal since 2011. In Purulia alone, 34 workers have been brutally murdered. There is fear in the minds of workers and it goes without saying that many are moving towards BJP for protection from TMC goons. They believe the BJP led central government can rein in Mamata.

Even as the party battles for survival in Bengal, it is hopeful of getting respectable representation from its last bastion Kerala.