Veteran Communist leader Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy Tuesday said the Left is not facing "existential threat" but acknowledged it has to improve its position in the Lok Sabha to play a role in national politics.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) said the Left is in a "difficult position" because of the "BJP rule on one side" and the setback it suffered in the 2014 elections on the other.
He does not believe the Left is facing existential threat.
"In elections, there will be ups and downs, but our mass organisations, mass following has not diminished; there is an erosion (in our vote share) but it's not that much", he said.
The CPI leader claimed the country's election system itself was defective as it is not based on proportional representation.
The Left does not get seats according to its strength, "except when it goes for some sort of electoral understandings which has not become possible in the recent period", he said.
"Otherwise, I don't think there is any danger of existential threat. We reject it", he said.
"I don't think it (the ongoing Lok Sabha election) is a do or die battle. It's important, undoubtedly, but we have to improve our position, and then play our part, our role in the national politics".
In this scenario, "in anger and after being fed up", a small section of the Left followers had joined the BJP to defeat Trinamool, leading to the Amit Shah-led party gaining "some vote share", he said.
"But still the Left is a much stronger force than the BJP in West Bengal", he asserted.
Reddy said the Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad in the Left-ruled Kerala, in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, has created a misunderstanding not only among the Communist parties and Congress, but among the "general secular public" as well.
"People don't understand why Rahul Gandhi should go all the way to Wayanad to contest against the Left. It gives a wrong signal that for them (Congress) the Left is bigger enemy than (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. This is a very immature decision that Rahul Gandhi has taken", he said.
The ongoing Lok Sabha election is "quite a tough" contest. "I still believe that non-BJP, anti-BJP parties would have bigger number of seats than the NDA," he added.
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