THE very fact that the Communist Party of India (CPI) is about to lose its national party status, indicates how poorly it has performed in the recent Lok Sabha elections. It does enjoy a state party status in a few States, but its national vote share has dipped below the mandatory 6%. The number of its Members of Parliament, too, has got reduced to just 2, against the mandatory requirement of 4. It is obvious that the party has lost its old sheen and now stands marginalised in the national scenario. This condition, however, is of its own making. For a long time, the party had stopped attracting young people, thanks to a backward and parochial ideology that did not stand the test of modernity. The party also propped old people as leaders so much so that young people started turning away from its folds. In the electoral politics in the fast-changing times of today, the CPI failed to demonstrate vibrancy and viability as critical values. In its strong bastion of West Bengal, the CPI started losing its hold about twenty years ago. That slide has continued -- perhaps to its extinction.
BY DECIDING not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Ms. Mamata Banerjee has proved what kind of an obstinate person she is. The expectation was that once the elections were over, bitterness would be forgotten and democratic mingling of people across ideological divides would begin. This was evident in the manner in which political rivals greeted one another after the results. In Ms. Banerjee’s case, things are different. She has taken her electoral debacle to heart and is now refusing to attend the oath ceremony of a rare importance to Indian democracy. Such an approach will earn her a lot of hostilities in the political community. Obviously, she has not understood the basic wisdom that governs the democratic conduct of one and all. It was unfortunate that she decided to reject the invitation to the oath ceremony. This cantankerousness will only add to her discomfiture instead of adding value to her personal obstinacy.