Accusing Trinamool Congress of terrorising voters in West Bengal, CPI(M) today exuded confidence that it will do much better in the Lok Sabha polls in the state if people were allowed to vote freely.
The party hopes to do better in the state "provided people are allowed to come to polling booths and cast their ballots.
In West Bengal, people are being terrorised in their villages and homes, so that they don't come out and vote," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told PTI here.
Maintaining that his party and other Left parties would do "much better this time if they could exercise their franchise freely," he said CPI(M) had got 39 per cent votes in the last local bodies' elections in West Bengal that are "universally accepted as the most rigged polls".
He also charged the Mamata Banerjee government with "encouraging" the growth of Muslim fundamentalists in the state.
"Trinamool Congress is encouraging and exploiting the growth of Muslim fundamentalists and it has affected our party as well," he said, adding the minority vote bank had become "shaky due to many factors and, as a consequence, minority leaders who have been supporting CPI(M) have also become shaky."
Growing activities of Muslim fundamentalists in Bangladesh was also "fuelling the rise of such sentiments across the border. In the neighbouring country, the main fight is between the fundamentalists and the democrats."
"In recent history, Jamaat had held one of the biggest rallies in Kolkata few months ago, that too on issues related to developments in Bangladesh," he said.
When asked about recent expulsion of some Muslim leaders from CPI(M) in West Bengal, particularly of Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Yechury said, "When we were in power, Muslim leaders were with us. Now we are not power, so they are not with us." Yechury also said opportunism was one of the factors for the Muslim leaders' disillusionment as they were now being lured by Trinamool Congress.
Meanwhile in a tweet, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the Trinamool candidate in Varanasi "calls for Ram temple in Ayodhya. Mamata paving the way for alliance with Modi?".
Indira Tiwari, Trinamool candidate from Varanasi, has been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi case in her capacity as general secretary of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, a post she quit in February.