All Left Front candidates had lost their deposits in the 2016 Assembly poll.
Riding the 10-party ‘Mahajot’ or grand alliance led by Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has staged a comeback in Assam after 15 years.
As constituents of the ‘Mahajot’, the CPI (M), CPI and CPI (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation) were given a seat each in the Assembly election.
Munin Mahanta of the CPI finished third in Marigaon constituency behind the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rama Kanta Dewri and Assam Jatiya Parishad’s Bani Kanti Das. Bibek Das of CPI (M-L) (L) fared similarly in Behali behind Textiles Minister Ranjijt Dutta of the BJP and independent candidate Jayanta Borah.
But CPI (M)’s Manoranjan Talukdar defeated Sankar Chandra Das of the BJP by a margin of 10,262 votes to win Sorbhog, a Left bastion that had gone right 10 years ago. Sorbhog is in western Assam’s Barpeta district.
State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass had wrested the seat in 2011 and retained it in 2016 but moved to Patacharkuchi in the adjoining Bajali district this time to maintain his winning streak.
Once a fairly potent force in certain pockets in Assam, the Left Front parties were allies in the coalition government headed by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta from 1996-2001.
The CPI, CPI (M) and CPI (M-L) (L) had contested a total of 41 seats in the 2016 elections. All its candidates lost their deposits, garnering 0.86% of the total votes.
In 2006, the CPI (M) had won two seats and the CPI one. They were Ananta Deka (Rangia), Uddhav Barman (Sorbhog) and Drupad Borgohain (Nazira) respectively. EOM