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CPI (M) hopeful of increasing its tally

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR NOV. 30. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has claimed that it would improve its presence in the Rajasthan Assembly in the coming elections. The party, which is fighting in 18 seats, expects to improve its tally from one seat at present.

The member of the CPI (M) central committee and in-charge for Rajasthan, Hannan Mohlla, said here that the party candidates were in the reckoning in at least eight constituencies. "We will win from a few of these, improving our present tally in the State Assembly,'' he said.

Besides Dhod in Sikar district, where the sitting MLA Amra Ram is seeking re-election, the constituencies where the CPI (M) is hopeful are Sangaria (Hanumangarh), Phalasia(Udaipur), Khandela and Datta Ramgarh (both in Sikar), Nawan (Nagaur), Karanpur (Sriganganagar) and Chorasi (Dungarpur).

In Sangaria, former MLA, Hetram Beniwal is the CPI(M) candidate while in Nawan, the leader of the Kisan Sabha and former MP, Sheopath Singh is its nominee.

"The Rajasthan Assembly would find more Left presence next time. Even with one MLA we could make a difference and more MLAs would mean more issues of public concern raised in the House,'' Mr.Mohlla said. Mr.Mohlla who had remained in Rajasthan throughout the campaign complained of the unethical commercialization of the election coverage by the print and visual media.

"The media role is not just to make money. It has other responsibilities to the people,'' he said. He was critical of the neglect of the Left parties by the local media. "The Press highlighted only two parties in the current elections. We are a party heading a few State Governments in the country,'' he asserted.

While appreciating the role of the Election Commission in general, Mr.Mohlla felt that the norms like disallowing smaller posters in the election campaign went against the parties without huge funds to spend. The permission to advertise in the television and radio only helped those with black money, he noted.

Assessing the election scenario in Rajasthan, Mr.Mohlla said the Congress would return to power with a reduced majority as the people wanted to punish it for the mistakes of the present State Government. The Bharatiya Janata Party would get more seats but these were due to the negative votes, he observed.

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