The results of the 2009 Indian Parliament elections are out. The Congress lead UPA is voted back to power with a resounding win.Once again the Indian voter has opted for secularism.They upheld the centuries old Indian tradition of religious tolerance.UPA has won enough seats to form a stable secular Government that will last for the full term..The BJP lead NDA conceded defeat. The Left which includes the CPI[M],CPI,RSP and the Forward Bloc received a big defeat in their strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala. This post is about Kerala politics in view of the election results of 2009.
A friend of mine,a person who is close to CPI[M] [so close that he was asked by the District Secretary about the suitability of a Candidate for this Parliament election] telephoned me in excitement by about 10am yesterday,saying he is so happy that Left Democratic Front is loosing most of the seats.
"It proves that the People's vote really matters. I hope they will learn a lesson" he said.
"Did you vote for Left?" I asked.
"No I was out of station", was the reply.
May be this was the first time that he did not vote in an election.
Such joy in LDF's defeat came as a surprise to me especially from him.But later I realised that most of the people of Kerala,along with the Leftist sympathisers are happy at the drubbing the LDF received in this election.
Why the LDF deserved this drubbing?
In 2006 the LDF won the State assembly election by a big margin,winning 99 out of 140 seats. But since then LDF rule was marred by infighting between the CPI[M] State secretary Pinarayi VIjayan and the Chief Minsiter V.S.Achutanandan. Pinarayi Vijayan and his supporters tried to oust most of the sympathisers of V.S from the Party Committees. Pinarayi Vijayan is infamous for his close relations with unscrupulous Industrialists and Real estate Mafia. He is also under the cloud of corruption scandal.V.S Achutanandan on the other hand is seemed to be working with a single aim of trying to oust Pinarayi Vijayan from the post of State Secretary of the CPI[M].
The factionalism with in the Party was so much that the Politburo had to intervene several times to restore order. The Party Secretary never allowed the Chief Minister a free hand.The people of Kerala who had overwhelmingly voted for the LDF was frustrated at the factionalism which they are more used to see in Congress.
The arrogance of Pinarayi Vijayan [who was secretly plotting the ouster of V.S. as the Chief Minister] was evident from the way in which the CPI and the Janata Dal,partners in LDF were asked to vacate their sitting seats.The open and much published relationship with the erstwhile Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani was the brain child of Pinarayi Vijayan. It was a ploy to break the UDF's [Muslim League's] monopoly on Muslim vote bank. Madani, considered to be a reformed Islamist, and his party PDP unconditionally supporting the LDF was acceptable.But was there a need to parade him,[a leader still under some suspicion of relationship with the Jihadists] in public meetings in which all LDF leaders were taking part? Did that produce a consolidation of Caste Hindu votes against LDF ? Most probably yes. The fact that BJP in Kerala polled only half the votes that they got in 2004 Parliament election is an indication of that.Most of that votes must have gone to the Congress.
What is the way ahead for CPI[M] in Kerala?
A complete change in the working of the Party organisation including the removal of Pinarayi Vijayan as State Secretary is the only way out if the Left have to regain its influence on Kerala voters. A more transparent and people friendly Governance is needed from the LDF led State Government.
Instead of blaming minority consolidation,church,'anti-left media',BJP's vote transfer etc for the defeat, the CPI[M] should be bold and brave enough for a through introspection of its arrogant way of working in the State.Politics of compromises should give way to politics of sincerity to secularism and inclusive Growth.
Even though Karl Marx had said that "nothing is unchanging except change itself" it will be a tough and may be impossible task for the Marxists in Kerala to make that decisive change, which is the need of the hour for the Leftist politics in the State.