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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 24 New Delhi June 4, 2016

The Kerala Verdict

Monday 6 June 2016

by Binoy Viswam

The people of Kerala have given their verdict. It is emphatic, unequivocal and hence, historic. They made the LDF victorious by providing it with 91 seats in the 140-member Assembly. The UDF, led by the Congress, could secure only 47 seats. The BJP, which for long was struggling to enter the Kerala Legislature, could do it by winning one seat. One seat went to an Independent.

This verdict was not at all unexpected. The voters’ mood was so clear and visible: they wanted a change. Such a change was inevitable for the onward march of the State, which has always pioneered the cause of social development of the country. The UDF Government, led by Congress leader Oommen Chandy, has disfigured the face of the State in such a vulgar manner. The UDF, in its five-year tenure, has shattered every-thing that the previous LDF Government (2006-2011) had achieved. Every sector witnessed downfall and the people were subjected to unpre-cedented miseries. Agriculture, industry, education, public distribution system—all were in doldrums. The environment was brutally neglected.

Corruption in every strata of administration was nurtured by the UDF Ministers. The Chief Minister and his office became the High Command of corruption. Scandals of all sorts shadowed the day-to-day affairs of the Chandy Government. Grafts in the name of solar energy, bar licence purchases, land deals etc. became the rule of the day. The people were ashamed to go through reports of even sex scandals in which big political bosses were involved Every election survey was pointing to a single point: people want a change.

The LDF in Kerala can really be proud that we fulfilled our commitments to the people that satisfied their aspirations. All the constituents of the Left Democratic Front rose to the occasion and fought the battle with absolute unity. The enemies had wished that differences would surface among the LDF partners on different occasions. But the LDF constituents, mainly the CPI and CPI-M, the leading partners, were mature enough to understand the political significance of the electoral battle in Kerala. Both the parties could comprehend the truth that this was not a fight for Kerala’s political power alone. The fight had a wider national message to convey before the Indian people.

The forces of the Right, steered by the big capital, are trying to write off the Left from the Indian political horizon. They are not ready to tolerate the presence of a powerful Left in the country where the majority of the masses are denied even the basic necessities. They are keen to crush the Left in places where the latter are strong due to historical and objective reasons. And for that purpose they support the BJP at the national level and the Congress and BJP in Kerala. Thoroughly under-standing this threat the LDF put up a valiant resistance to the Rightist offensive.

The LDF approached the people and explained to them that Kerala had to tell the nation that a people-centric development is the need of the hour. Both the BJP and Congress have proven that they stand for the profit-amassing centralised development. They argue for TINA (there is no alternative). The people listemed to the LDF viewpoint and upheld it. They proclaimed to the country that another world is possible. They catagorically stated that the Left is the people’s alternative.

When the masses turned to the Left and supported its 600-point Election Manifesto, the victory of the Left became on inspiring reality. The CPI, CPI-M and other constituents of the LDF faced the election as a single entity. Nowhere was there any clash of interests between them. Because of that the CPI could increase its strength in the Assembly to 19 from 13. The CPI-M also fared impressively with its strength rising from 45 to 58.

It was not an easy victory. The UDF and BJP shamelessly joined hands to fight the Left. The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination activated the social engineering theory and launched their “rainbow alliance” with greedy calculations. They pumped in an incredible amount of money. Helicopters were used for their State leaders to run the show. At many places, the Congress and RSS cadres exchanged votes with a hidden agenda. Still the BJP could secure only one seat, while the vote-share of the UDF was reduced. That is the secret behind the BJP opening its account! The party, which swears by Mahatma Gandhi, transferred its votes to the party wedded to the ideals of Nathuram Godse!

Shocked by the thumping victory of the Left, the BJP unleashed violence all over the State. It is interesting to note that the Congress in Kerala has closed its eyes on the series of atrocities committed by the RSS.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, with all humility and cohesion, stands before the nation and reiterates its pledge before the people. It very well knows the faith and responsibility the people have entrusted in it. The LDF is aware of the challenges before it. It notes with concern the designs of the BJP to put hurdles on the LDF Government. Utterances have already come from the Cental Ministers that they will face the LDF in the streets. It shows that their strategy is to create violence and engineer communal clashes while crying hoarse over the failure of law and order in Kerala. The LDF, along with the people of the State, will face all such attempts to destabilise its government with firm resolve and prove to be worthy of the trust reposed in it by the Kerala electorate as mirrored in the election verdict.

The author, a former Minister of Forests and Housing in the erstwhile LDF Government in Kerala, is a member of the National Executive of the CPI.