The Left party has contested last election too in two assembly constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, where it got 3,106 in Mangaluru South and 4,244 in Mangaluru.
According to party’s Dakshina Kannada district secretary, Vasanth Achari, “as a national party, we have every right to contest elections. This time the CPI(M) is contesting 19 seats only and in other seats, the party will support, whoever are capable to defeat BJP”.Declining to accept that the party is asking its cadre to vote for the Congress, which is considered as a main rival for the BJP, Mr Achary said, “it is up to the cadre” to vote and ensure BJP’s defeat.
In fact, the Dakishna Kannada district was a stronghold for Communist parties once and in 1972 and 1978, the Communist Party of India’s BV Kakkalia won from Bantwala, and Vidla constituencies respectively.In 1962, the CPI candidate A Krishnan Reddy and in 1983, the CPI(M)’s Ramachandra Rao also elected from the Mangaluru constituency.According to Mr Achary, the party is trying to win back its strength through various struggles and movements. “The CPI(M) has done a lot of work for the people, especially in construction, beedi, cashew and other unorganised sectors. The Karnataka government implemented the minimum wages programme for the beedi workers, because of the CPI(M) struggle.
He also added that the recent solidarity programme, organised by the CPI(M), against the Sangh Parivar, in which Kerala Chief Minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan’s presence energised the party cadre in Mangaluru and other parts of the districts.“We are constantly fight against the communalism, which Sangh Parivar organisations are propagating. We are getting good support from the people. Even after the Sangh Parivar announced bandh in Dakhina Kannada, we were able to gather a huge crowd for Kerala Chief Minister’s programme”, said Mr Achari.
While the Left party is fielding its veteran and Kisan Sabha district secretary S Yadav Shetty in Moodbidri, the party fielded young leaders in other constituency, to attract more youths in the party; Mangaluru-Nitin Kuttar, Mangaluru South- CITU district secretary Sunil Kumar Bajal and in Mangaluru North- DYFI state president Muneer Kattippalla.
Asked whether the CPI(M)’s move to field 19 candidates will affects the Congress’s chances, Mr Achary said, cautiously, that “we are fighting against both the Congress and the BJP. Wherever we have chances, we will fight on our won. Otherwise the party will vote against the BJP”.The CPI(M) has announced its candidates two months ago and started campaign early. While the party is trying to use social media spaces to garner support from youth, the CPI(M) facing difficulties to do ‘traditional campaigns’, because of the lack of strength of the cadres, which other parties like BJP and Congress doing extensively.(UNI)