17 Apr '11, 5am

India Marxists face vote for survival in W. Bengal: Opinion polls suggest the Left Front is headed for a crushin...

KOLKATA: The Indian state of West Bengal goes to the polls Monday in a vote that looks set to end three decades of uninterrupted rule by the world's oldest democratically elected communist government. The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of Indian (Marxist), or CPI-M had, until recently, won every election in the eastern state since 1977. But straight successive losses in council, parliamentary and municipal polls have left the communists struggling for survival. Opinion polls suggest the Left Front is headed for a crushing defeat at the hands of a woman who has emerged as one of India's most powerful and feisty politicians, Mamata Banerjee -- known to her followers simply as "didi" or sister. Banerjee, who casts herself as a champion of the poor, has ridden a wave of popular discontent with the Communist government's handling of the economy that has left industry in...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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