KOLKATA: Facing unprecedented political debacle in West Bengal, the CPI(M), which ruled the state for uninterrupted 34 years, has decided not to field candidates in all wards of municipalities and corporations where civic polls are likely to be held either in December or January.
The Left party, which now has an electoral stake of just 5 per cent in the state, has also decided to assess its presence in the grassroots level and field candidates accordingly to avoid a repeat of the performance in the Assembly polls.
The CPI(M)’s decision of not fielding candidates in all the civic wards is said to be significant as the party had accused the ruling TMC of preventing its candidates from filing nominations in more than one third of the 58,000 odd seats in the rural civic body polls in 2018.
“We do not want a re-run of the Assembly elections. The state committee meeting of our party will be held on November 9 and the issue of fielding candidates in the municipal elections will be discussed. This time we are careful about fielding candidates. If we fail to win a single municipal ward, it will raise questions whether our presence in West Bengal is at stake,” said a CPI(M) leader.
The TMC is all set to go all out in the civic polls against the BJP, which has emerged as the main opposition in the state. The BJP is gearing up for a tooth-and-nail battle even after its unimpressive performance in the Assembly polls. The saffron camp has already made it clear that it would demand deployment of central forces in the polls.
“Though it never happened before in the history of municipal elections, this time we will demand for central force personnel in the civic body polls. If the state government opposes it, we will move curt. We have zero faith in the state administration which will be conducting the poll process,” said BJP’s state president Sukanta Majumdar.