CPM Warns of Symbol Loss Risk

CPM's A K Balan warns of symbol loss if vote share dips, urges extra vigilance; Kerala crucial amidst electoral challenges.

Thiruvananthapuram: CPM central committee member A K Balan has cautioned that if the party fails to secure a certain percentage of votes and win seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls then it will run the risk of losing its election symbol hammer, sickle and star.

Balan said the workers need to be extra vigilant to prevent such a situation. Or else the party will be forced to fight the elections on symbols like the Octopus and Indian Pangolin in future, he said.

The CPM leader was speaking at a workshop organised by KSFE Officers Union in Kozhikode. “If the Left parties fail to secure a certain percentage of votes, then they will lose their national status,” he cautioned and urged the supporters to work hard.

Many Left supporters say the fears expressed by Balan are genuine. With the CPM being electorally decimated in West Bengal having no representation in the 294-member state assembly and Lok Sabha either and Tripura inconsequential with just two LS seats, the party’s only hope is Kerala.

In Lok Sabha polls in 2004, West Bengal gave as many as 26 seats and Kerala 12 with the CPM tally in Parliament going up to 43. However, in 2019 the CPM tally in Lok Sabha was reduced to just 3 including one in Kerala and two seats from Tamil Nadu thanks to the DMK alliance.

The CPM came to power in West Bengal last in 2006 winning 176 of the 294 seats. But the party has faced a massive downfall since then. In 2021 assembly polls the CPM vote share came down as low as 3 per cent which makes any immediate revival of the party in Bengal near impossible.

On the other hand, the CPM-led LDF created history in the 2021 Assembly polls becoming the first government after 1970 to win back-to-back polls. Political observers say the CPM is making an all-out effort to improve its tally in Lok Sabha this time.

The party has fielded heavyweights including a minister in the current Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet, three former ministers, a Rajya Sabha member and a couple of district secretaries to give a strong fight to the Congress-led UDF. With Rahul Gandhi deciding to contest from Wayanad again, the Congress is confident of repeating its 2019 performance.

The BJP is also pinning its hopes in three to four seats on the strength of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guarantees.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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