The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at New Delhi on May 26-27, 2019. It has issued the following statement:

Narendra Modi led BJP-NDA has secured an overwhelming and decisive mandate in the elections to the 17th Lok Sabha. Most opposition parties, barring those from Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and a few other states, have witnessed a big loss in these elections. 

The CPI(M) and the Left have suffered a severe setback in these elections, particularly in their strongholds.

The BJP could successfully shift the popular narrative away from the multitude of livelihood issues that the last five years of the NDA government had imposed.  The narrative built around communal nationalist jingoism, along with the issues of fighting terrorism, brushed aside all other issues of day-to-day concerns of the people.

This was aided by the build-up of the Modi persona through a combination of factors.  These included the effective use of technology and its instruments of messaging to the people backed by big data analytics and micro level social engineering.  Sections of the media partnered such projection backed by massive money power.  The role of the Election Commission was also a factor that permitted the build-up of such a narrative.  This process was assisted by the vast network of RSS affiliated organisations.

The electoral base of the CPI(M) saw a big erosion in our strongholds.  The Polit Bureau discussed some of the issues that led to this erosion.  The Central Committee meeting from June 7 to 9, 2019 will discuss and adopt a report, based on reports from the states, to draw proper lessons on the basis of a serious introspection on the experiences of these elections.  The State Committees in our stronger states will meet and self-critically evaluate the Party’s performance before the Central Committee meeting and, on the basis of this, the Central Committee shall draw up the necessary corrective measures in order to strengthen the CPI(M)’s independent strength and its capacities of political intervention through popular struggles.

The CPI(M) thanks all those who have voted for its candidates, three of whom – 2 from Tamilnadu and 1 from Kerala – have been elected to the 17th Lok Sabha.

Both in West Bengal and Tripura, these elections were held in the backdrop of intense terror and violence.  There were large-scale reports of CPI(M) supporters physically being prevented from voting.  Most of our representations to implement the Election Commission’s assurances to conduct a `free and fair’ poll went unattended.  During the course of the elections, 2 Left supporters have lost their lives in West Bengal and 1 in Tripura. In both the states, post-poll violence continues. This is taking a dangerous turn towards communal clashes.

Soon after the results were declared, reports of attacks on minorities from Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, for instance, are coming in.  This is contrary to the PM-elect Narendra Modi’s declaration that the new government will be inclusive and will create confidence among all sections of the people (sab ka saath, sab ka vishwas).

Clearly, there are big challenges ahead for the Indian people and our country.  The defence of our secular democratic Republic, the Constitutional institutions, safeguarding people’s rights and civil liberties and people’s livelihood issues will be the issues on which the CPI(M) strongly appeals to the Indian people to come forward to meet these challenges.

The Polit Bureau calls upon all sections of the Indian people to strengthen the cherished harmony of our social fabric and to unitedly rise to meet the challenges ahead.

(Hari Singh Kang)

For CPI(M) Central Committee office