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55 years on, only 1 CPI(M) candidate retains deposit

55 years on, only 1 CPI(M) candidate retains deposit
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Kolkata: Within 55 years after the CPI(M) was formed, only one candidate of the party has been able to retain his deposit in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

The CPI(M) had fielded 29 candidates while Forward Bloc, RSP and CPI had three candidates each in the Lok Sabha election.

Sitaram Yechury, the party general secretary, said it will carry out post-poll analysis at a two-day meeting on May 26 and 27 in New Delhi.

It is interesting to note that only Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya, former Mayor of Kolkata who had contested from Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat, was able to retain his deposit.

Bhattacharya has finished third in the triangular contest. Mimi Chakraborty of the Trinamool Congress won the seat by 2.95 lakh votes while Anupam Hazra of the BJP came second.

According to the rule of the Election Commission of India (ECI), if a candidate fails to achieve one sixth of the total valid votes cast in any constituency, then the amount deposited by the candidate with the EC is seized.

For the Lok Sabha polls, it is Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 for general candidates. For SC and ST candidates, the amount that is deposited with the Election Commission is half the amount deposited by the general candidates.

Among the prominent figures who have forfeited their deposit included Nandini Chakraborty, a teacher of Jadavpur University in Kolkata South, Nepaldeb Bhattacharya, a well-known organiser in Dum Dum, Gargi Chatterjee in Barrackpore, Kaninika Bose (Ghosh) in Kolkata (North) and Deblina Hembram in Jhargram.

The CPI(M) was set up in Kolkata in 1964. The first nine Politburo members were Jyoti Basu, Pramode Dasgupta, EMS Namboodiripad, M Basavapunniah, Puchalapalli Sundarayya, B T Randave, A K Gopalan, P Ramamurthi and Harkishan Singh Surjeet. After the Left Front came to power in Bengal in 1977, the CPI(M) slowly became a powerful political force in the country. Even party veteran like Ram Chandra Dome forfeited his deposit. Abhas Roy Choudhury who was fielded in Bardhaman Durgapur also forfeited his deposit.

The Left Front's poll percentage has dropped to 5 percent from 28 percent in 2010. Twenty three percent votes have been transferred to the BJP. It may be mentioned that former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had requested party members not to vote for the BJP.

The poll result has proved beyond doubt that the political bosses in Alimuddin Street do not have any control over the rank and file.

Local leaders supplied the BJP with their election machinery to ensure victory of the candidates.

The CPI(M) supporters said the party has failed to assess the situation. To oust the Trinamool Congress from Bengal, the party has taken a suicidal step and it will not be easy for it to bounce back.

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