Soft Hindutva pulled Cong back: CPM

Soft Hindutva pulled Cong back: CPM

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja along with other leaders shout anti-government slogans during the Bharat Bandh in New Delhi on Monday. PTI/FILE

Describing the Assembly elections results as a "big blow" to BJP, the CPM on Thursday reminded the Congress that, given the depth of the "popular discontent and anti-incumbency", it could have got a "more decisive" victory in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh but for its soft Hindutva campaign.

The party attributed the close finish in these states to Congress' campaign based on soft Hindutva and said raising such demands did not get them any electoral benefits as people attracted to the Hindutva platform "always prefer the original rather than a copy cat".

The CPM warned that there is still scope for the BJP to recover if there is a slight swing in its favour in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where the vote-share between the saffron party and Congress in the just-concluded elections is very less.

This points to the possibility of the BJP-RSS combine stepping up its communal agenda in the coming days in view of the Lok Sabha election, the Left party said.

"This makes it incumbent on the newly formed governments to immediately address the problems of agrarian distress, employment generation and provision of social welfare schemes. They cannot afford to take a soft attitude to communal activities and must crack down on cow vigilantism and mob lynching," said an editorial in party mouthpiece People's Democracy.

Analysing the election results, the CPM said this was the "biggest reverse" for the BJP in Assembly elections after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as all these three states were considered the party's strongholds.

"The defeat in these three states (Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh) has dented the image of invincibility around the Modi-Shah duo which was assiduously built up by the BJP... But now they have proved to be ineffective in their own traditional strongholds," it said.

Attributing "widespread farmers' distress, adverse effects of demonetisation, failure to provide jobs, corruption and misrule" as the reasons for the BJP rout, the CPM said the general trend has been that the party which does well in Assembly polls also makes gains in Lok Sabha polls from that state if they are held six months later.

Going by this, the BJP which won 62 out of 65 seats from these states, is set to lose a substantial number of these seats.

"It will be difficult for the BJP to make up the loss of these seats in other states, especially when it is expected to lose the bulk of the seats it had won in Uttar Pradesh with the SP-BSP alliance shaping up," it said.

Citing the Telangana and Mizoram results, it also said Congress still faces an uphill task in reviving its national fortunes.