Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kerala electorate gives a timely drubbing to the LDF

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.


  1. The Left got a drubbing in Bengal too...People are happy...TC may not be much better but the Left needed a reality check...I hope they lose in the next assembly elections as well...Those elections are more important for the people of Bengal...

  2. Politics of compromises should give way to politics of sincerity to secularism and inclusive Growth.I agree!

  3. the lefties can thank Pinarayi for the drubbing it got this time. The Polit Bureau has to open its eyes to the harsh reality that common public is gradually moving away from them..

    The CPM is now no different from the other corrupt cronie parties around us.. So much for a party with so high ideologies.. *cough*

  4. Sraboney, yes Left needed a reality check both in Kerala and West Bengal. But the irony in West Bengal is the ultra Left including SUCI was part of TMC coalition.Maoists also indirectly supported Mamta.Such coalition of ultra left with Mamta who is just anti-cpi[m] and the centrist Congress may not be very stable.

  5. IHM, Congress victory all over India is a victory of secularism over communalism. In Kerala it is a victory over Left arrogance,corruption and deviation from ideology.

  6. scorpiogenius, yes the differences between Left and others are fading away fast. Lack of genuine leaders who know the pulse of the ppl both in Delhi and in AKG Centre in Thiruvanathapuram is a big problem

  7. Just the change of Pinarayi wont do. Change is needed at all the levels so that party can retain the touch with grassroot level

  8. Welcome here Narial Chutney,Yes very true. Ideally the Communist Parties should disband itself and form a Social Democratic Party and articulate the Left view Points of this century and not that of last century. But who is brave enough to do that?

  9. Whether it's LDF or UDF, there has to be radical shift in the dynamics of Kerala politics, so that the state become more habitable, not just a tourist destination (even for Keralites!)

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