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|November 5, 1998||
Left unable to make a mark in MP
Even after 10 assembly elections, the communist parties are struggling to make a dent in Madhya Pradesh.
In the last five assembly elections in the state, the Left parties have secured a meagre average of 1 per cent of the votes. But the performance of the Communist Party of India and the CPI (Marxist) has not been consistent.
In the second Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly), the united CPI had two seats, but it had just one representative in the third and fourth Vidhan Sabhas. The party increased its strength to five seats in the next election.
But none of the CPI or CPI-M candidates won in the assembly election held after the Emergency. Of the 48 candidates fielded by the CPI, 43 forfeited their security deposits and the party got just 0.98 per cent of the votes polled. As for the CPI-M, none of its candidates could even save their security deposits, and the party's share of the votes polled was 0.05 per cent.
In the election to the seventh Vidhan Sabha in 1980, two CPI candidates won and 1.48 per cent of voters backed the party. Still, 40 of the 46 CPI candidates lost their deposits.
As for the CPI-M, only two of its seven candidates could save their deposits, with the party polling just 0.29 per cent of the votes.
The next assembly election in 1985 shocked both the communist parties. None of their candidates made it to the Vidhan Sabha. But the percentage of votes polled by both recorded an increase. The CPI got 2.15 per cent and the CPI-M, 0.48 per cent. Despite this, 63 of the CPI's 77 candidates and 13 of the CPI-M's 15 nominees forfeited their security deposits.
The performance of the Left parties improved in 1990 when there was an undercurrent against the ruling Congress. The CPI wrested three seats from the Congress, winning Gurh in Rewa district and Konta and Dantewada in Bastar. But its vote share declined to 1.19 per cent, and 53 of its 60 candidates lost their deposits.
But for the CPI-M, it was again a disaster. Securing just 0.29 per cent of the votes, six of the party's eight nominees lost their deposits.
In the tenth assembly election in 1993, the CPI lost Gurh to the Bahujan Samaj Party, but retained Konta and Dantewada. It secured 0.985 per cent of the votes, and 57 of its 63 candidates lost their deposits.
But the CPI-M opened its account with Ram Lakhan Sharma winning Sirmaur (Rewa). Sharma had been a member of the ninth Vidhan Sabha as a Janata Dal representative.
Though the CPI and the CPI-M are close to an understanding on sharing seats for this month's assembly election, their efforts to rope in more parties to form a "third front" have not yielded any result.
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