The DMDK-PWA-TMC alliance was denied a level-playing field in the May 16 Assembly elections by Dravidian majors who pumped in a lot of money, but the idea of an alternative front has not lost its relevance, says CPI national secretary D. Raja.
In a conversation with E.T.B. Sivapriyan, the Rajya Sabha MP says the split in votes helped AIADMK come back to power for a consecutive term. Excerpts:
Q This is for the first time since Independence that Left parties will not have presence in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. How do you see this development?
It is a matter of serious concern. All parties of the Left bloc should introspect seriously why there is a gap between ideological influence of the Left and electoral performance of these parties. All said and done, one has to accept the people’s verdict and we accept the people’s verdict. Money power and the amount of money infused by the major players denied a level-playing field for other parties like PWA-DMDK-TMC alliance of which the Left was part.
Q Left parties have been pushing for an alternative front to oppose the Dravidian majors in Tamil Nadu. But, the results of the Assembly elections seem to suggest that the alternative was not a catch among people. What is your view?
The idea of an alternative came for serious consideration among youth of Tamil Nadu who wanted a welcome change from DMK and the AIADMK rule. But, I think there was not enough time for us to reach out to people. I think people welcomed the idea, but it will take some more time for them to grasp the idea of an alternative front. The results do not mean that people have rejected the idea.
Q Do you think the idea of a Third Front has lost its relevance as DMDK-PWA-TMC alliance was completely routed in the elections?
One cannot come to such a sweeping conclusion with the results of one election. The concept for a change and alternative force very much exists and it will work (in the future). The idea was seriously debated among the younger generation who said why not we vote for a change. I think it is just a matter of time that people make up their mind in favour of change.
Q Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has become the third only leader to lead her party to a successive term. Your comments.
It was a multi-cornered contest and we thought no one would get majority. That is why we projected ourselves as an alternative and viable front. But, unfortunately we could not emerge stronger this time. Since the votes got split in different directions, the ruling party had an advantage.