Exit polls: Scene change likely in TN, CPI-M reports predict losses in West Bengal, Kerala

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The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) seems resigned to losing power in West Bengal and Kerala - after studying reports from its units in the two traditional strongholds.

Reports from Tamil Nadu, where the party is in alliance with J. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK, are more encouraging.

The CPI-M is hopeful of the AIADMK-led alliance ousting the DMK of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, said a party leader.

State units of the party have submitted reports to the CPI-M central leadership even before the sixth and final round of polling ended in West Bengal on Tuesday.

Reports from West Bengal, which the party has ruled since June 1977 without a break, are 'loud and clear that the Left Front will lose', said the sources.

In Kerala, the sources said, the state unit gives the party a 'slim chance of coming back to power'.

But a last-minute swing may favour the Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), the report added.

After West Bengal and Kerala, it is Tamil Nadu where the CPI-M enjoys the largest membership. The internal report attributes a variety of reasons for the imminent defeat in West Bengal.

This includes a massive 'misinformation campaign' by the Trinamool Congress, aided by 'money and muscle' power and extensive support from the mass media.

In Kerala, the state unit says that consolidation of large sections of minority groups against the LDF as the main reason for its possible ouster from power.

The CPI-M took power in West Bengal in June 1977 under the leadership of the late Jyoti Basu, and kept winning election after election, stunning foes and friends alike.

But the Marxists have seen their electoral fortunes dip since the 2009 Lok Sabha election when the Trinamool of Mamata Banerjee, the state's most consistent anti-Communist politician, made a dramatic comeback.

In Kerala, even though Chief Minister and Marxist stalwart V.S. Achuthanandan enjoys immense support, the voters have always rejected the incumbent government.

The CPI-M leadership is likely to meet here a few days after the assembly election results come out May 13.

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