The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 30 , 2014
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Left joins hands for bypoll fight

- Unanimity on seat arrangement

Patna, July 29: The CPI, CPM and CPI-ML(Liberation) will jointly fight next month’s Assembly bypolls.

The Left parties held a joint news meet today to announce the decision to put up common candidates. The 10 seats of Narkatiaganj, Rajnagar, Bhagalpur, Hajipur, Mohania, Chhapra, Mohiuddin Nagar, Parbatta, Jale and Banka go to the bypolls on August 21.

Rajendra Prasad Singh, the CPI state secretary, said: “The three Left parties have reached unanimity to present themselves as an alternative to the NDA and the recently announced alliance of the JDU, RJD and Congress in the ensuing Assembly bypolls.”

Political analysts are although sceptical about their prospects going by the vote shares in this year’s general election.

The joint news meet was convened at the CPI-ML(Liberation)’s office in Kadamkuan around 2.15 in the afternoon. Singh was accompanied by CPM’s Vijaykant Thakur and CPI-ML(Liberation)’s Kunal.

Singh said: “There is a complete unanimity among the Left parties over seat-sharing. We will fight like ‘one party’.”

According to the agreement, the CPI-ML(Liberation) would contest the five seats of Narkatiaganj, Rajnagar (SC), Bhagalpur, Hajipur and Mohania (SC). The CPM would put up its candidates in Chhapra, Mohiuddin Nagar and Parbatta. The CPI would contest the Jale and Banka seats.

JDU MLC and spokesman Neeraj Kumar said: “I don’t think that the Left parties would have any impact on the prospect of the Assembly bypolls.”

A political analyst, who keenly watches election results, said: “The Assembly elections are a completely different ballgame from the Lok Sabha polls. A thousand votes or two could turn the table in a keen contest. The Left parties together could upset the JDU-led alliance in a few seats.”

According to the Election Commission’s figures, CPI-ML (Liberation), CPI and CPM fetched 1.3 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent votes, respectively, in this year’s Lok Sabha elections. In contrast, the NDA — comprising BJP, LJP and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party — polled 38.8 per cent votes. The JDU, RJD and Congress together fetched 44.3 per cent of votes — though they were not allies.

Singh, who contested the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat in alliance with the JDU this general election, admitted that political compulsions prompted the Left alliance.

CPM state secretary Vijaykant Thakur said: “Aligning with the Congress, JDU or other like-minded parties has been a bitter experience. Whenever we have aligned with them, our base has weakened.”

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