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Morale low, no early polls

Calcutta, Nov. 15: Biman Bose today admitted that a string of election upsets had affected the morale of the cadres of the CPM and its partners but ruled out early polls.

The CPM state secretary, however, blamed inadequate campaign to counter the Opposition’s “lies” for the latest bypoll debacle and chided the rank and file for lacking “conviction”. “Our workers are getting frustrated with the defeats in some seats. But it is happening because their conviction is not firm,’’ Bose said.

The remedy, according to Bose, lay in internal “rectification” across all stratas —from “politburo members to lowest-rung cadres”.

Defending the CPM state secretariat’s decision to hold elections as scheduled, Bose said: “We got the mandate for five years and the government will run full tenure.”

He dismissed the snap poll demand of front partner and fisheries minister Kiranmoy Nanda and CPM land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah. “These are individual opinions. Neither the party nor the front has decided to advance the polls.’’ A review of the bypolls would be done at a front meeting on Tuesday.

The front will hold a rally in Calcutta tomorrow in which leaders will speak against price rise and PSU disinvestment as well as question Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee’s silence on these issues. They are expected to harp on her supposed nexus with Maoists.

The CPM partners have argued that blaming the Centre on price rise would not help unless the government took steps to check it.

According to initial estimates of CPM leaders, the front has suffered a huge dip in its support base in the 10 Assembly bypolls earlier this month. The Left secured 38 per cent vote, 13 per cent lesser than the Opposition’s 51 per cent.

Although the corresponding vote shares in the 10 Assembly segments when they voted in the May general election are yet to be worked out, the trend of voters’ preference shows the Left’s continuous slide from May to November.

The CPM had earlier said the front had got a little over 43 per cent votes, around two per cent less than the Trinamul-Congress alliance in the general election. But insiders said the erosion was deeper — around seven per cent loss in vote share — when compared with the 50.72 per cent share in the 2004 general election and 50.12 per cent in the 2006 state polls.

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