The CPM acknowledges that the Lok Sabha results were a "very clear pointer" to its decline in independent strength and political intervention capabilities in a "big way" but the central leadership still does not know how its core base – workers, peasants and agricultural labourers – voted.
The reason: the leadership in its stronghold states like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura have given reasons for the loss except for this input, prompting the party to record it in the Review of 17th Lok Sabha Elections' adopted at the Central Committee meeting here on June 7-9.
The review report said, "none of these (reviews by states) contains an assessment of how our basic classes – working class, peasantry and the agricultural labour – voted. A deeper review to understand both the alienation of the people from us and the desertion of sections of our traditional vote is required. There are certain weaknesses that we must not only note but rectify."
"The leaders from Kerala were saying that minority consolidation was one reason for its debacle. They spoke about believers voting against us. The more you say these, more are the chances of their alienation. However, nobody told us how our core base voted. We have asked them to come up with a comprehensive analysis," a senior CPM leader told DH.
While listing the agitation programmes like the Kisan Long March organised by the party and its mass organisations, the report also accepted that all the sections mobilised by them have "not translated into votes". The CPM vote share is around 2%, down from 3.2% in 2014 and it has just three MPs this time, down from nine.
"The uncomfortable conclusion that must be drawn from this electoral performance by the party is that the decline in the independent mass base of the party has further deepened...The Polit Bureau and Central leadership must take responsibility for this failure," it said.
The CPM also accepted that its appeal is declining both amongst the urban poor and in the middle classes and in many constituencies, the total votes polled by the party candidate was less than the total membership of it's class and mass organisations.
“Even taking into account the overlap of membership, this gap once again informs us that the process of politicization of our own mass organization membership is far from adequate,” it said.
On the way forward, the party has chalked out a 12-point plan with an assertion that it is "neither with demoralisation nor defeatism, but, with redoubled vigour and determination", that the CPM will take "concrete measures to overcome its weaknesses and strengthen" itself and the Left.
The plan includes the launching of extensive and intensive mass struggles, drawing more youth to the party, strengthen ideological campaigns to fight communalism and unity of Left among other things.