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Left win hope: 3-4% vote swing

Calcutta, March 31: CPM leader Shyamal Chakraborty today said the Left Front could win the Assembly elections if its vote share increased by “only 3 to 4 per cent” over its 2009 Lok Sabha numbers.

“In the last Lok Sabha elections, the Left Front had got around 43 per cent of the total votes. The Left had marginally lagged behind the Congress-Trinamul combine. According to our reports, we will have to achieve a vote swing of only 3 to 4 per cent to win the polls this time,” the CPM MP and state Citu president said.

Given that the state has around 5.6 crore voters, a 3 to 4 per cent vote swing will mean the Left has to get 20-22 lakh more votes than it did in the Lok Sabha polls.

Chakraborty said the Left needed to “mainly get back the support of the poor people”. “Not all poor people have deserted us. According to our estimates, if we manage to achieve the vote swing, we will form the eighth Left Front government,” he added.

Told that the Left had shown similar confidence about winning before the panchayat, Lok Sabha and municipal polls, Chakraborty said: “Why are you people singling us out? Trinamul too makes claims of victory before elections.”

Elaborating on the Left’s “pro-poor” policies, the CPM leader said the state government had recently announced that it would give rice at Rs 2 per kg to families with monthly incomes of less than Rs 10,000. “We have been giving rice at this rate to 2.65 crore BPL families. More people will now benefit from the rise in the salary cap. We are a government for the poor and will continue to be so.’’

He said the chief minister’s regular interaction with the poor and the industrial workers “had yielded results”. “He (Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has been trying to win back the trust of these sections,” Chakraborty added.

“When big investors and industrialists meet the chief minister, it gets publicised. But when the poor people come to meet him, nobody says anything. The fact is that Buddhadeb has been holding regular meetings with the poor people and listening to their problems and grievances,” Chakraborty said.

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