With the three Left parties bagging seven seats and leading in 10 others in Bihar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury warned naysayers against writing them off, saying had they been given more seats, they would have notched up higher numbers in the elections.
As of 9 pm on Tuesday evening, the CPI(ML) won six of the 19 seats they fought on and was leading in six, the CPI(M), which competed on four seats, won one and was leading in two others, and the CPI, which contested on six seats, won one and was leading in two.
The Left parties contested on 29 seats in the Bihar Assembly elections.
"We were clear from the beginning that we have to defeat the BJP. Our strike rate in Bihar is 80 per cent and if we had been given more seats, we would have contributed more to the Gathbandhan tally. Our alliance with the RJD and Congress combined issues of social justice with that of economic justice. One cannot be achieved without the other," Yechury told PTI.
Many in the party had questioned RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav over what they called "disproportionate concessions to the Left, particularly to the CPI(ML)", however, the calculations, triggered by the state's socio-political dynamics and the cadre strength of the Left parties seem to have worked.
"This election result has shown that no one can write off the Left and those doubting the relevance of the Left parties should think of what our strike rate has been in Bihar. No one has that strike rate. The Left is a necessity for Indian democracy," Yechury said.
He said that the Left parties "provided legitimacy" to the grand alliance to fight the BJP.
"We have been the most consistent with our demand for the rights of the people. The red flag has withstood the test of time, despite election results. We did not want the BJP in government. It should be prevented from using the government machinery to destroy the fabric of India, through communal polarisation," he said.