Thinning left power in capital puts Karats in dilemma - The New Indian Express

Thinning left power in capital puts Karats in dilemma

Published: 25th November 2013 09:45 AM

Last Updated: 25th November 2013 09:45 AM

Come elections and Delhi based comrades, from CPM general secretary Prakash Karat to JNU molded Lefties, face a peculiar dilemma. They are left with no options to take part in this democratic carnival, thanks to the near total invisibility of the Left parties in the election process here.

The dilemma being faced by Mr and Mrs Karat, voters of New Delhi constituency, is so typical. If they have to vote, the CPM politburo members will have to vote either for Congress Chief Minister candidate Sheela Dikshit or her opponent BJP candidate Vijendra Gupta.

Both cannot be a choice for the Kartas for obvious political reasons as they are still dreaming an impossible Third Front Government.

The third option is Arvind Kejriwal, the ultimate leader of Aam Admi Party. Kejriwal also cannot be a choice as Karat still considers him as a ‘NGO leader’ and his enmity to NGO politics is well known ever since his student politics days.

These leave him with the last option of NOTA (none of the above) option. But Karat cannot press that button also as the party has taken a political position against NOTA.  Sources close to him say this has been his plight in all the previous Assemble elections too. Even though the party has 4 candidates this time,  the Left presence in the country’s capital is as good as nothing.

The only time Karat apparently exercised his right to vote was in the last Lok Sabha elections. And that time he had voted for the BSP candidate as the CPM general secretary was busy cobbling up a Third Front Government pinning his hope on BSP leader Mayawati. But this time even that option does not exist as the relation between the CPM and the BSP has soured.

Left with no option, Karat and his PB member wife Brinda Karat will not be voting in the Delhi Assembly election.

But this plight is not Karat’s alone. “All PB members whose vote falls in the New Delhi constituency face similar plight. It also tells the sad state of party in the capital city,” said a party insider.

The other major national Left party, the CPI, also tells a similar story. CPI former secretary A B Bardhan also has vote in the New Delhi constituency. But he will not be voting as he has to travel to West Bengal around that time. If travelling to his home state is more important than casting vote, then it gives clear idea about the party’s presence in Delhi.

Other major leaders of the CPI Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja have their votes in their respective home states.

The CPI, however, has a better presence in Delhi with it having fielded 21 candidates this time.

In fact, average Left sympathizers hailing from West Bengal and Kerala, the two Left bastions, also go through similar state of mind during the elections.

“It was a shock for us initially that we have none to vote for as we have always voted for a party candidate,” said a party sympathiser who has never voted since he came to Delhi.

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