For the first time, the Left Front comprising CPI, CPM, RSP and Forward Block has decided to jointly contest at least 100 Assembly seats in the 2012 elections in Uttar Pradesh.
While the CPI has declared its nominees for 30 Assembly constituencies, the CPM is planning to contest at least 25 seats across the state.
In the past, usually the CPI and the CPM contested a small number of seats. In the last one decade, neither the CPI nor the CPM could win any seat in UP. Our last MLA was Rajendra Yadav who had won a seat in Ghazipur district as CPI nominee in 1997, said Dr Girish, secretary, UP unit of CPI.
Also, although the Left Front exists at national level, we have never contested any Assembly election under its banner after 1964, he recalled while speaking to The Indian Express.
In the 2007 Assembly elections, the CPI was an alliance partner of the late V P Singh-headed Jan Morcha and contested 21 seats. In 2002, the CPI was an ally of the Samajwadi Party and contested five seats.
Girish said that before the 1975 emergency, the CPI used to be a potential political force in the state. We want to revive our roots. The states present political situation has given new hope for the Left Front to make its presence felt, he said.
The Left Front allies believe there is a political vacuum in UP, which provides them an opportunity. Also, the Left suffered in the past because of the factors involving caste and communalism, now these are on the decline, a Left leader said.
There is a decline in the support base of both the BSP and SP, we see a chance for the Left to emerge as an option for voters, particularly those who are from Dalit and OBC communities. We also notice that voters are becoming disenchanted with parties which depend on caste, he said.
A CPI leader, meanwhile, said the rise of small parties showed the failure of both the SP and BSP to deliver according to the voters' expectations. The support for Anna Hazare's agitation also pointed to weakening political leaderships, he added.
In western UP, the Left parties see an opportunity to capitalise on the resentment among farmers over land acquisition. The Left Front has learnt its' lesson from the Nandigram episode in
West Bengal. Farmers have always remained one of the important target group for left parties. We see a chance for us to make people aware of the Left as pro-farmer in western UP, another Left leader said.