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Lok Sabha Elections 2024| I.N.D.I.A. bloc spent too much time on seat-sharing talks, could have done better: Dipankar Bhattacharya

'I cannot completely rule out that there has been nothing unfair to that (the poll results), but having said that, I think there were some states where we could have done better,' Bhattacharya said.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 17:33 IST

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New Delhi: The I.N.D.I.A. bloc could have performed better in the recently-held Lok Sabha polls and perhaps, too much time was spent in reaching seat-sharing agreements, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya has said.

In an interview with top editors of PTI at the agency's headquarters here, the CPI(ML) Liberation leader also said mass movements, such as the farmers' agitation, youth and civil-society movements, as well as a community of "digital warriors" supplemented the opposition bloc's efforts in the election.

The Left leader, whose party is a part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.), said the victory margin was very close on 30-40 seats.

Bhattacharya quipped that while he cannot say there was nothing "unfair" about it, the opposition bloc could have performed better in the parliamentary polls.

"I cannot completely rule out that there has been nothing unfair to that (the poll results), but having said that, I think there were some states where we could have done better."

"For example, Bihar is one state. If only we could have performed at par with Uttar Pradesh, things would have been different. Maybe, even in Karnataka, where the Congress is in power. They could have probably performed slightly better," he said.

Referring to last year's Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan Assembly polls, Bhattacharya said not contesting those elections together led to a loss of momentum for the opposition alliance.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the elections in all the three Hindi-heartland states.

"Those three Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan -- I wish that the INDI alliance could have been factored in. There was no reflection of I.N.D.I.A. in those elections and the results did not go our way.

"We lost a lot of momentum there. It was only belatedly early this year that we started picking up some momentum. So that loss of momentum is again another important thing. There is no way you can make up for it," Bhattacharya said.

He also said the bloc spent too much time in seat-sharing negotiations.

"Possibly, we spent too much time in the seat-sharing talks, so there was very little actual educational outreach among the people," he said.

The Left leader asserted that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc's poll performance was not achieved solely due to the political strength of its constituents, but also because of the support it received from ongoing movements.

"I wouldn't attribute it purely to the political strength of I.N.D.I.A. It was not just I.N.D.I.A., it was I.N.D.I.A. plus."

"You have all these ongoing struggles... the farmers' movement, youth movements, civil-society movements... all these movements threw their weight behind the alliance," he said.

"Then you have this entire digital medium. I call it the community of digital warriors for freedom. All these factors led to our success. It actually became a people's movement," Bhattacharya added.

He said the ruling BJP has been dented "quite heavily" and it has faced a major setback, which is not just peripheral.

"The setback is not peripheral. It concerns the two core areas of the BJP's strength at the moment -- Hindutva and the Modi cult, what they call 'brand Modi'. I think both had to take a huge amount of beating in this election," the Left leader said.

Asked if the alliance will last, he said, "I.N.D.I.A. is basically a demand of the situation. Since the situation actually demands a more united and consolidated I.N.D.I.A., if we are responsive to the situation, I do not see any reason why I.N.D.I.A. cannot stick together." "This is a difficult alliance. Normally, you cannot imagine that from the Shiv Sena to the CPI(ML), there will be such a big spectrum in one alliance. But when this situation has arisen, I think as we move forward together, there is mutual confidence," he said.

"How we actually transcend our differences or navigate through the differences to maintain this overarching national unity -- that is a big challenge.

"Maybe, as we move forward, we will get more strength and be a little more resilient," Bhattacharya added.

While the BJP won 240 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress emerged as the second-largest party with 99 seats. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got the majority with 293 seats while the opposition alliance won 234 seats.

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Published 22 June 2024, 17:33 IST

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