It is unfortunate for Indian democracy that the Left Front suffered severe defeat in its old bastion West Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the first time could not open its account in the state.
The Left Front-ruled the state for seven consecutive terms from 1977 to 2011. Jyoti Basu had been the Chief Minister of West Bengal for five consecutive terms and Buddhadev Bhattacharya was CM of the state for two terms. Mamata Banerjee single-handedly wrecked the red bastion in West Bengal ending Left Front’s uninterrupted 34-year-old. Mamata made possible, which seemed impossible. She set up the Trinamool Congress in 1998 after falling out with the Congress Party. Didi became the face of the opposition in West Bengal, Banerjee. She fought against the ruling CPI (M)-led Left Front over the last 23 years. She earned the reputation of being a street-fighting politician.
In 2014 the Trinamool Congress won 34 seats, while CPM got only two seats. The Congress won 4 seats and the BJP got 2 seats in West Bengal. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee coined a catchy slogan Ma, Mati o Manush (Mother, Land and People). But she could not protect her fort in the 2019 Lok Sabha and lost 17 seats to the BJP. It is a major loss to the chief minister of the state.
According to sources, the cadres of the Left Front played an important role in the sudden rise of the BJP in West Bengal and the electoral debacle of Mamata Banerjee this time. In conversation with Afternoon Voice Partha Chatterjee, Education Minister of West Bengal accused Left Parties and the Congress of this. He said that both are guilty of the emergence of the BJP as a prominent political force in West Bengal. However, later on, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of CPI (M), denied that CPI (M) has helped the BJP in West Bengal. He blamed the Trinamool Congress for facilitating the entry of the BJP into West Bengal. The Left remained the last hurdle against the BJP in the state.
Blame game may go on. But post-election all opposition parties have to introspect for the loss in the parliamentary elections. They have to chalk out a practical strategy and follow their ideologies. Just before the parliamentary elections, opposition parties tried to come together but they could not do so. If they will continue to fight against each other, no one can check BJP.