MUMBAI: The CPM, which is contesting on eight seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, on Saturday said it will strive to defeat the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine and establish a "secular" government.
"The main objectives of the CPM in this election are to defeat the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, to increase the strength of the CPM and other left parties, and to establish a secular government in the state," reads the CPM statement, issued jointly by state secretary Narasayya Adam and party's central committee members Ashok Dhawale and Mahendra Singh.
The CPM accused the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra of destroying the livelihood of the common people of the state with their "anti-people, pro-corporate, communal and authoritarian" policies.
The CPM said it will campaign for the election on the issues of "the economic slowdown, closure of thousands of factories; farmers' suicides; the rulers reneging on the assurance of complete farm loan waiver; alleged use of government machinery against opposition leaders; increasing attacks on women, dalits and minorities and shameless protection to the culprits by the rulers". Adam is contesting the election from Solapur central, while CPM's sitting MLA JP Gavit will again try his luck from Kalwan constituency in Nashik district.
The CPM has fielded DL Karad, Vinod Nikole, Jaising Mali, Sarita Khandare, Krishna Bhavar and K Narayanan from Nashik West, Dahanu, Shahada, Partur, Shahapur and Andheri West seats, respectively. Sources said that the CPM is contesting the Dahanu seat in understanding with the Congress and the NCP.
In other segments, the party has joined hands with other Left parties. In the assembly elections held in 2014, the CPI (M) had contested 20 seats but won just one seat, registering a cumulative vote share of 5.76 per cent. All 288 seats in Maharashtra will vote in a single phase on October 21. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24.