NEW DELHI: CPI(M) has defended its "understanding" with Congress in the West Bengal assembly election, saying it is a battle to save the state from "rapacious misrule" of TMC and it can be defeated by gathering all democratic forces.
"For CPI(M) and Left, these elections are crucial because of West Bengal and Kerala. The battle in Bengal is not just about formation of a government but whether democracy which has been battered in the past five years will survive.
"It is also a fight to save Bengal from the rapacious misrule of the Mamata Banerjee government. By gathering all the democratic forces and building people's unity, the TMC can be defeated," former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in the editorial of forthcoming issue of party mouthpiece 'People's Democracy'.
He charged the Oommen Chandy government in Kerala stands "totally discredited with its corruption, wheeling-dealing and miserable failure" to tackle economic problems facing the state.
"LDF is well poised to deal a terminal blow to this government and to set the state on a fresh path," he added.
Karat also downplayed prospects of BJP in three of the four poll-bound states, saying the NDA major is "not a major force" in the regions concerned and the Narendra Modi government's 22-month record will "play a role" there.
In the piece, he noted it is going to be a "tough preposition" for BJP to perform well in the polls "except in Assam" scheduled to be held later this year.
"This time around, BJP is not a major force in these states, except for Assam. But apart from doing well in Assam, it has to show that it is a growing force in the other states. This is going to be a tough proposition," he added.
The leader alleged the NDA major has slipped down in popular support in West Bengal despite the hype of it emerging as the alternative to ruling TMC.
In Kerala, he claimed, BJP will not be able to retain the 10.3 per cent votes it mustered during Lok Sabha polls "thanks to the Modi government's policies".
He expressed confidence that efforts put in by Left Democratic Front (LDF) will bear fruits in Kerala and the Congress-headed UDF will be ousted from power.
In Tamil Nadu, Karat said that most of the parties which had joined hands with BJP have deserted it and said to expect the NDA constituent to win in such a situation would be "wishful thinking".
As for Congress, Karat said stakes are high for the party as it has governments in two of the five states. He described Congress government in Assam as "beleaguered" one and observed its allies have defected to join hands with BJP.