Indian communist parties face election angst | 2019-05-09 | daily-sun.com

Indian communist parties face election angst

9 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

KANNUR: India’s once-vibrant communist parties are in danger of falling off the political map in this month’s general elections as voters lose their revolutionary fervour, reports AFP.

From 61 parliamentary seats and a key role in a coalition government formed in 2004, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its hard left allies slumped to just 10 seats in the 2014 election.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury acknowledged that the left cannot afford another fall as he lobbied for precious votes in the last communist bastion of southern Kerala state.

In the past, tens of thousands of Indians turned out for communist rallies, chanting proletarian slogans and wearing hammer and sickle neck chains with their Marxist-red t-shirts and hats. But today, the movement is fighting an increasingly desperate battle.

As the communists defend their six seats in Kerala, Yechury acknowledged the critical stakes while keeping up his onslaught against capitalism and right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The youth were led away by a lot of illusions,” he said of the erosion of support for the communists.

“The neo-liberal blitzkrieg agenda will become an Eldorado and reality will hit them,” the party secretary general predicted.

Yechury said the financial crisis of 2008 has made many people look to the left again.

“This is the first chance when we can test whether we are reversing the trend or not,” Yechury said.


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