Left parties were decimated in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal which they had once ruled continuously for 34 years, with CPI(M) alleging "massive rigging" by Trinamool Congress.
"We are not prepared to accept this result as it does not reflect the actual position, the strength and support of the Left parties. We cannot accept it as our percentage of votes has fallen from 41 per cent in the 2009 elections to 28-30 per cent," said CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here.
While the Left in Kerala made "major gains" and increased margins in Tripura, he said "we place West Bengal in an exceptional situation where the Election Commission has failed to intervene to rectify the situation from the third to the fifth round of elections when 32 of the 42 seats went to polls. And this was despite complaints by all parties opposing the TMC, including BJP and Congress."
"The widespread rigging, violence and intimidation targeting the Left Front in these elections has led to a distorted result which does not reflect the popular support for the CPI(M) and the front," Karat said.
Overall, he said the people had voted for a change and against the Congress-led UPA government whose policies led to price rise, agrarian distress and corruption. "This negative vote was taken advantage of by the BJP."
"We too worked for the rejection of the Congress but I can't say we are happy with the outcome," Karat said.
In a similar vein, CPI National Secretary D Raja said BJP had taken full advantage of the anger of the people against Congress and its policies on one hand and the "complete absence" of a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative in the Lok Sabha polls.
"It is a big setback for the Left, which has to do a serious introspection, reinvent itself and rework its strategy for the coming days," Raja said.