Lucknow, Mar 28 : A senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday admitted that the Left parties had been 'left aside' in the battle of ballots in Uttar Pradesh.
Left parties, he observed, had won the last seat from this politically sensitive state almost three decades ago. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, they had obtained a mere 0.01 per cent of the votes in the powerhouse of the Hindi heartland.
The heyday for the Left combine was in 1967 when it won six seats in the cow belt state.
After that commenced the decline. 'There is not one particular cause for the decline but various factors contributed to our downfall. Initially, the politics of caste divided the society. Then religion took over. In this melee, Left lost its voice,' the senior CPI (M) leader told UNI.
Vishwanath Shastri won the LS election in 1991 from Ghazipur. In 2014, the Left combine garnered only 5,637 votes which was 0.01 per cent of the total polled. The Left tasted first electoral victory in 1957 from Ballia seat when Comrade Sarju Pandey was declared winner.
Five years later, the Communists won two seats - Jai Bahadur Singh (Ghosi) and Sarju Pandey (Ghazipur). In 1967, Left nominees Sarju Pandey emerged victor from Ghazipur, Jai Bahadur Singh (Ghosi), Jageshwar Yada (Banda), Isaac Shamshi (Amroha), LA Khan (Muzaffarnagar) and SN Singh (Varanasi).
The Left bagged four seats in the 1971 polls. Jharkhand Rai emerged as an iconic leader who won the election from Ghosi. In 1977, Left failed to get even a single seat.
Three years later, Mr Rai won the Ghosi seat. In 1984 elections, Left again failed to win a single seat but it notched up three in 1989, including Kanpur, where Suhashini Ali emerged winner.
In the 1990s, the disintegration set in as people with Left ideology joined the Naxalite movement in Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra. This was the time when a war of attrition started between 'Mandal' and 'Kamandal.' Left failed to maintain pace and lost its electoral space, the leader averred. (UNI)