In a hurried conversation outside the Patna airport, General Secretary of the CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury gave us an explanation for why the left parties have decided to contest alone in the assembly elections.
They are against both the social and economic agenda of the BJP, as well as the “feudal”, “caste-based” politics of the RJD-JD(U) alliance.
But in an election as important as this, wouldn’t it be better for the left to stick to the ‘secular’ alliance? After all, the BJP has a presence in Bihar like never before.
The Prime Minister’s face dominates every hoarding you see outside the Jayaprakash Narayan airport. There is no sign of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Not Being Part of an Alliance Might do Good for the Left Cadre
And if the results of the CSDS-Indian Express opinion poll are to be believed, the hoardings are symptomatic of more than just the ability to buy ad-space.
With 42% of the vote, the opinion poll has given the BJP and its allies a four percent advantage over the Mahagathbandhan. In urban areas though, the BJP is miles ahead, almost 20%.
The CPI(M) and its allies see it differently. They believe that their presence makes it a multi-cornered fight which will benefit the Mahagathbandhan. In fact, the left usually enjoyed some support among the upper-castes and scheduled castes in Bihar, both constituencies that the BJP-led NDA is counting on.
But most importantly, it is a battle for relevance for India’s scientific socialists. Their cadre needs to be revived, and enthused. Perhaps, contesting polls apart from a major alliance will prove to be a good move for the left.
But will it make an impact on the Bihar polls? Only time can tell.
For full coverage of Bihar Polls 2015, click here.