'Left' Is Not Right In Uttar Pradesh

'Left' Is Not Right In Uttar Pradesh

Political analyst Rajesh N Bajpayee said the emergence of caste and religion-based politics in the 1990s pushed the Left ideology to the fringes.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 09:40 AM IST
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Over the past three decades, Communist parties in Uttar Pradesh have experienced a gradual decline, reminiscent of political ‘exile’, as the state’s political landscape tilts increasingly towards saffron dominance.

Once commanding strongholds in revered religious cities like Ayodhya and Kashi, which provided crucial political momentum and ‘seed politico capital’ to the BJP, the Communists find themselves relegated to the sidelines of the political arena.

In their prime, Communist flags fluttered proudly even in religious centers such as Ayodhya and Kashi, with notable victories like CPI-M’s Satya Narayan Singh clinching the Lok Sabha seat from Kashi in 1967 and Mitrasen Yadav from Ayodhya.

Ramjanmabhoomi movement shifted voter allegiances

However, the movement’s influence began to wane with the rise of caste-based politics, followed by BJP’s Ramjanmabhoomi agitation in 1989. This polarising movement shifted voter allegiances away from the Left, effectively marginalising their presence in the northen state’s political landscape.

Political analyst Rajesh N Bajpayee said the emergence of caste and religion-based politics in the 1990s pushed the Left ideology to the fringes. “While the Left parties still maintain organisational units in 65 districts of UP, they struggle due to a lack of resources,” he stated.

Younger generation not interested in the Left ideology

The younger generation, often referred to as Gen G, shows less interest in the ideological struggles of the Left, contributing to a further erosion of their voter base, according to political analysts. CPI leader Dr Girish attributed the Left’s fall to the emergence of caste-driven parties and the communal wave spearheaded by BJP.

Despite advocating for labourers, workers and the poor, the Left struggled to compete in polls due to lack of funds and shifting voter allegiances.

Since 1991, no Left candidate has been elected to the Lok Sabha in UP. Even in strongholds like Kanpur, where Left labour leader SM Banerjee held sway, the rise of saffron politics has eclipsed their influence.

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