CPM support to Congress: Suicide, a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Manas Pal


Someone so aptly said : Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.


The Left Front, which till 2018 remained in power and was considered a formidable force, for some unexplained reasons seemed to have bent on committing suicide. What the Left Front did in this by-poll was virtually a repetition of the West Bengal experience as evident from its wholesale support to Congress- only that Furfura Sharif Huzur being absent in the entire exercise.


As evident from the results from 6-Agartala and 8-Bordowali constituencies the Left Front put its complete weight behind the Congress. The Left Front succeeded in ensuing victory of at least candidate Sudip Roy Barman at the cost of CPM’s own nominee Krishna Majumdar. In Bordowali the Communists’ vote shifted hugely towards Congress candidate Asish Saha reducing Forward Bloc candidate RaghunathSarkar’s vote count. Here however CPM support to Congress could not make the difference, ostensibly because incumbent Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha himself was fighting from the seat- and people usually do not disappoint a Chief Minister.


Now as the situation stands the Left Front – which had been the main rival against the BJP in 2018, relegated itself to third position in two constituencies. Congress which had been virtually a no force in 2018 assembly elections bagging only 638 votes in 6-Agartala, and 1,285 votes  in 8-Bordowali seat – both cases forfeiting the deposits, now can boast of – 17,431 and 11,077 respectively in its kitty.


And the next assembly elections are only some months away.


CPM-support-Congress-TripuraThat the CPM was not backing its own candidate Krishna Majumdar was evident on the poll day when she was found moving around and visiting the polling station all alone –with only her PSO carrying an umbrella and she was talking constantly in her cell phone. None was there with her. Similar was the experience with Ragunath Sarkar of Forward Bloc too.


Of course the CPM did not openly announce its understanding with the Congress. But the vote counts brought it to fore loud and clear. Even if one does not go into the details of percentage and booth wise calculations and analysis a simple glance at the counting results in comparison to 2018 votes says it all.


In 6-Agartala this time Congress candidate Sudip Roy Barman bagged – 17,431 votes while BJP candidate Dr. Ashok Sinha got– 14,268- the difference between the two candidates being  3,163. The CPM candidate Krishna Majumdar got 6,808 votes.


In the last 2018 assembly elections when BJP wave was at its extreme CPM’s Krishna Majumdar had got 17,852 votes-that is 40.03 percent of total votes in her kitty.  This time it came down from 17,852 to only 6,808 votes.


So where did these 11,044 CPM electors (17,852-6,808)-vote this time?  Of course they did not vote for the BJP. These 11,044 or a major part of the CPM supporting electors this time voted in favour Congress candidate Sudip Roy Barman. In last assembly elections Congress pooled only 638 votes.


On the other hand BJP candidate Dr Ashok Sinha got 14,268.


If in 2018 assembly election’s total votes of BJP 25,234 votes that is  56.59% taken then this time BJP candidate got 10,966 votes less (25,234-14,268).


Similarly in 2018 Forward Bloc candidate in 8-Bordowali constituency Biswanath Saha had got 13,115.  This time Forward Bloc candidate Raghunath Sarkar got – 3,376 (3298+ 78 postal ballots). Where then did the 9,739 Left Front supporting electors (13,115-3376) voted  this time? Obviously again they did not vote for the BJP and voted for Congress. Keep again in mind in 2018 Congress candidate had got only 1,285 votes while this time Congress candidate Asish Saha got 11,077 ((10,930+147 postal ballots).


Here , however, BJP candidate and Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha could sail through with 17,181 (16870+ 311 postal ballots) defeating Congress candidate Asish Saha by a margin of 6,104 votes.


If there was no understanding between the CPM and Congress then there could be only reason for which such a huge number of CPM supporting electors on their individually shifted towards Roy Barman and Asish Saha- that was for their personal charisma.


But going by the Communist way of hardnosed politics that define their thought process they were simply unlikely to be impressed by Roy Barman and Saha both of whom had been in the state politics for quite a long time.


Most of the political observers are now of the opinion that the CPM strategy to help Congress bail out would be akin to political hara-kiri.


It would be seriously counterproductive.


The tactics already brought the Congress in second position and put it in direct fight with the ruling BJP in the two most prestigious seats. It goes without saying that the results would definitely infuse new blood and spirit in Congress and they would try to retain their position and fight it out from that position in the next assembly elections.


The CPM on the other hand would find it extremely difficult to regain its hold and arrest the imminent erosion that would get momentum with every passing day. The hills had already gone out of its grip now the urban seats were just given on a platter to the Congress. Though, as someone said no one ever lacks good reason for committing suicide- and that includes the Marxists, the decision’s impact would be seen in future when only expression – Historical Blunder would, perhaps, be repeated in Tripura. And for that CPM in Tripura in all likelihood would not need a Huzur from Furfura Sharif like entity.


#Manas Pal may be contacted at [email protected]