Never among the key players in the politics of Uttar Pradesh, the Left Front is attempting to mark its presence in the current assembly polls. Once a power bloc in politics, which aided the formation of five governments at the Centre, it has been long on the fringes in most populous state of the country.
All the Left parties, including CPI, CPI(M), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc, have together fielded candidates on 140 seats of the total 403 Assembly constituencies in UP this time.
The Left front has blamed on the dominance of caste and religion calculus for its crashed fortunes in UP.
The front had its presence in the state Assembly till 1974, when it won 16 seats, and won one to four seats till 1996. The Left, thereafter, has been steadily pushed even behind the margins with none of its members entering Vidhan Sabha in 2007 and 2012 elections.
“It has been the advent of the politics of caste and religion in the 1990s that pushed Left ideology to the sidelines,” CPI national secretary Atul Kumar Anjaan said.
“It is not as if the Left parties do not have their organisation in the state. In almost 65 districts CPI has its organisational units but they are struggling because of dearth of resources. The same is the condition of other leftist parties,” Anjaan told the news agency in an interview.
Former member of CPI-M central committee SP Kashyap said Left parties have lagged behind due to polarisation on caste and communal lines as these two factors are strongly associated with people’s emotions.
“…those who have vested interest in polarisation have massive resources… in this context the fight of Left parties gets weakened on its own,” he argued.
But even then, Utopia has not deserted the Left front, which is hopeful that it will go on in the state as those indulging in caste and religion based politics have gradually got exposed.
“This process of getting exposed is today passing through its final stage… the youth today does not get carried away by communally inflammatory speeches but ask for report card,” Anjaan added in his opinion.
(With inputs from the PTI)