India: Kerala elections: Opinion polls put Communist parties in advantage over the ruling Congress led UDF
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Tamil Nadu and Kerala go to assembly poll the same day for electing new governments for which al necessary arrangements have been made by the election commission, including the security of the voters.
People of Kerala will vote on May 16 for a new government and pre-poll opinion polls suggest a change in government. Unfortunately, Kerala offers only a very limit option two alliances for the people to choose from in the Assembly election.
Although there are also candidates from BJP led NDA, with their basic hate politics targeting Muslims for Hindu votes they won’t be able to positively influence the Kerala voters. Moreover, many voters in the state consider the Hindutva BJP as a serious threat to the secular unity of the state.
As such, people have to choose between the readily available two major alliances Congress led UDF and CPM led LDF, at least until a credible secular and anti-corruption and anti-liquor third front takes birth in Kerala soil.
Former foes Congress and Communist parties are now coming together in West Bengal fighting against the ruling TMC of Mamata Banerjee and in Kerala which Congress and Communist rule alternatively by keeping the people at a distance, while advancing their own exclusive interests they seem to have adopted a hidden, cooperative method to keep the BJP out in the poll. For the communists, in fact, people have become the problem while the rich and corporates are their new friends.
That is to say, continuous misrule of Kerala and West Bengal has made the communists to recognize the capitalists as their new ‘allies’ in politics and poor people as their problem.
After all, poor and common masses cannot offer the communist parties money. Because they don’t have money but the rich and corporates can offer a lot of black money to the parties during the poll. Communists have become ‘practical’ and even propagate ‘convergence’ theory to suit their new policy.
There could be many reasons why opinion polls and general mood of people indicate defeat of the ruling dispensation. Kerala government has not ensured pure and safe drinking water, has not controlled price rise and contained corruption in every ministry.
As it is widely accepted, Congress party is the root cause of rampant corruption India and its states suffer and which led to sky rocketing of prices of essential commodities in the country. Congress leaders are not afraid of scams and punishments.
By following the footsteps of Manmohan Singh, who had let every minister in his coalition cabinet to loot the nation at will without any accountability, CM Oommen Chandy also let every minister to mint as much money as he or she can during the term.
Congress vs. communism
With opinion polls – and perhaps intelligence reports – suggesting the rout of the ruling Congress led UDF coalition government and its replacement by Communists led LDF, both the Congress and Communists are busy taking positions in the state secretariat – Congress party taking away what is left in the treasury and Communists finding ‘able’ replacement of agents to do business in the capital for the parties. The UDF backed rich mafia would strike quick deals and take home huge sums for the last time before the new set of mafias take charge there. New Sarithas would resurface at the state secretariat to make the let bosses happy and keep them in good humors.
The change in government would not make any difference to populations. Communists would not do anything good for the people and in order to cover up their failures, they would begin their usual favorite blame game as soon as they take change as new rulers blaming the UDF for what will not be good in the state. There ends all hopes of people who voted them to power to get rid of wretched misrule gang. The literate Keralites have got no credible alternatives.
Liquor and corruption would continue in state as usual unabated with the communist parties taking over power from corrupt Congress party. Commission and collection won’t stop.
One may call it the crude destiny of a population if it continues to suffer the ill-effects of misrule by the parties that they choose alternatively with a mandate to rule the state. Kerala, like its neighbor Tamil Nadu, has been the target of corrupt political parties led by self centered guys who want to make wealth by suing politics as business. Sons and daughters and other kin gradually replace the ruling circles.
Emerging Muslim dynasty
Since the national situation is not different from that, politicians misrule alternatively the state, looting the resources according to some profitable formula. Since the corrupt Congress-Muslim League rulers of Kerala, known as a crude joke in cricket circles as god’s own country’ because the Congress government made Sachin – a self styled petty god fake batboy with bogus records ‘set’ out of match fixings by powerful mafia with government links – to emigrate from his Mumbai city to Kochi, Kerala’s money centre, people have been left with no choices except accepting either Congress or Communists as their ill-fate just like in USA where the most educated Americans can choose only between republicans and democrats who follow similar polices and fool the educated people.
Both dynasty misrule and rampant corruption continue to thrive in Kerala as the rulers, including Communists are eager to ‘generate’ the top rich peole to compete with Indian national frauds and if possible with global business magnets.
Sons and daughters of top political leaders who assumed power in Trivandrum consider themselves as the legitimate heirs to the throne. Every former Congress and other splinter groups follow the strategy in politics. A minster Munir, son of former acting CM belonging to Muslim League, a major component as well as considered life line of UDF government, is dreaming to become the CM of the state because his father was so albeit for a brief period. However, the ML leadership thinks now Dr. Munir is ‘too young’ to be CM and can wait for more years but he ‘deserves’ to be the CM. And hence the ML does not claim CM post though it saves the government all the time from falling.
Now Munir can wait for another 5 years at least to make his cherished dream come true if the Congress party recommends him to be the CM then for a term. The League would then accept him a matured leader to run the government. However, it should be remembered that emerging Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal could lead to national level alliance even in Kerala. In that situation Congress and communist parties would form a government and Munir and his League won’t be needed for Congress for government formation and hence he would be in the opposition for years, if get elected.
Meanwhile Munir and other ML leaders should be cautious about fake media people with innocent looks seeking their favors to mint and share money.
Even among UDF partners, Kerala Congress always fought for the CM chair but Oommen Chandy very tactfully denied it any chance for CM post and also kept the group from shifting its loyalty to the waiting communist led LDF where former CM and opposition leader Achuthanandan had been seeking ‘converts” from UDF until election was announced to somehow get a couple of MLAs from UDF to form alternative government.
Interestingly, a shrewd Oommen Chandy hurriedly inaugurated the incomplete the central bus station with just mere structures in the capital Trivandrum two years ago fearing abrupt fall of his government eventually as a couple of MLAs from UDF were coining with the idea of abandoning the UDF leading to its collapse, and joining the LDF to launch a new left government under Achuthanandan. CM Oommen Chandy did that possibly to make sure his name appears in the bus station as “inaugurated by Oommen Chandy’ and to claim it as the Congress achievements in the election campaign which it is doing now.
Meanwhile, the Hindutva parties led by ultra communal BJP have been trying to fish in the troubled waters in Kerala, just like it does elsewhere. They think they also have right to misrule and make Kerala a state of communal crimes; though the Congress party maintains secret link with BJP, it won’t help the Hindutva now as its facing a rout situation.
Like in Tamil Nadu, BJP is in a fluid situation in Kerala too. For the first time in its history, BJP could forge alliance with “over ambitious” political partners in Kerala and form NDA to take on both CPI-M led Left Democratic Front and Congress-led United Democratic Front to alter the course of poll battle in the state.
In the time Modi bang, both RSS and BJP central leadership wanted to open double digit account in Kerala Assembly. They felt Kerala’s untouchability towards Hindutva politics blocking lotus bloom in the state. But with 6.3 per cent cadre vote bank, electoral prospects of the BJP remained limited in Kerala’s bipolar political spectrum. The local polls held recently gave hopes for the BJP to dream for a seat in the state assembly but it is not easy.
To overcome the challenge, BJP found a convenient ally in Vellapally Natesan, self styled champion of Ezhava community, who was interested only in power game. Vellapally who had taken over Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, an organization for the welfare of Ezhavas founded by Sree Narayana Guru, a great social reformer in Kerala in 1903, found BJP a convenient ally for his political avtar. He claimed the backing of 23 per cent Ezhava vote bank in the state and have been working long to consolidate his political base and enjoyed playing the role of political power broker for long. He preached Ezhava pride and justice for Ezhavas and initiated micro credit for poor women. And, finally floated a political outfit Bharat Dharma Jana Sena and crowned his son Thushar Vellapally as its President.
Hindutva strategists of BJP calculated that BJDS may help the party to infiltrate into Ezhava base that help them to win at least in three Assembly constituencies where party comes second in 2011 poll. PC Thomas led Kerala Congress and Janathipathya Rashtriya Sabha led by CK Janu, fire brand tribal leader in Kerala constituted a micro segment and publicity for the BJP. BJP was in advantageous position in the beginning as Congress was doomed in corruption and scandals and CPI-M was dipped in factional feuds. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of development and make over India campaign fancied youth and neutral voters in Kerala.
Modi, having lost his own image of ‘Mr. developmental gentleman’, won’t be able to add any votes to Kerala BJP bag. When the election campaign started, there was a feeling in Kerala, BJP would open account in more than three Assembly constituencies. But when poll campaign enters final leg, the halo around the BJP is fading fast. the aggressive Hindutva agenda projected by BJP and RSS during the poll campaign has no effect. “It helped minorities especially Muslims to cast vote strategically to defeat BJP.
Congress-led UDF was banking on BJP strategy to block LDF from coming to power. Strategic voting pattern always defeated BJP in Kasargod and Manjeshwaram in the past where party has a strong cadre base.
Hindutva BJP failed to understand inner dynamics of Kerala politics. When BJP joined hands with Vellappalli, Nairs shunted the party. They constitute 13 per cent of population. Traditionally Nairs and upper castes were backing BJP in Kerala. In many constituencies, Nairs may not vote for BJDS candidates and Ezhavas may not vote for BJP candidates. In fact BJP poll agenda helped CPI-M to consolidate its Ezhava base as party focused on the vote drain from the community.
The organization Hindu parliament in Kerala has announced that it would support Left Front candidates in 37 constituencies where BJDS is contesting in the state. If BJP could not convince Hindu Parliament to vote for BJDS, how the party could make an entry in the Kerala Assembly. They may have to wait in the Visitor’s gallery of the Assembly for the time being.
Unlike its success of caste politics in Karnataka, BJP miserably lost its caste approach in Kerala. And it is difficult if it can ever gain any big vote bank to have MLAs in the state assembly.
As the national ruling party the BJP must be coercing the judges of hon. Supreme Court to deliver a Hindutva judgment supporting the ghastly destruction of Islamic Babri Mosque and against the Islamic appeal to get the Babri Mosque rebuilt at the site and handed over to Muslims for prayer purposes. As the day of vote as Kerala judgment comes very near Kerala BJP is increasingly nervous to be shunted by the people is eager to get a couple of seats so that they can collect enough money from the ‘visitors” and send part of it to central BJP funds.
Sensing the public mood, former CM and former India’s defence minister AK Antony commented that “BJP can only open bank accounts in Kerala and not in Kerala assembly.
Fate of Kerala
Of course, Tamils and Malayalees are used to tolerating the alternate misrule by a system of two dominant parties and they can continue to live like that. Now Kerala people would have to put up with communist insensitive misrule as before.
Meanwhile, Kerala people would have to suffer the misrule of Congress and Communist parties until they discover a genuine and honest leader to emerge from public life.
Maybe that time may not be too far away. Fed up with the misruled by both AIADMK and DMK parties, Tamils have already found alternative serious parties like PWA and PMK with promise of genuine governance without corruption and without intoxication of the pubic and for the real development of the state.
Hopefully people of Kerala would punish the corrupt Congress-ML led UDF government but do not let the left parties to get away with a clear majority to loot the state resources that belong to all Keralites.
People should watch how political-mafia networks function in the state right from the state secretariat and end the nefarious activities. The state secretariat in Trivandrum has become the key forum for all corrupt and illegal operators to function to mint money for the corporate sand parties. Lucrative bribery and other (illegal) deals take place in the offices of ministers and their officals with all sorts of anti-social elements, fake media persons, false party agents and mafia networks playing key roles. All these are allowed by the government to help party functionaries and politicians thrive as freely as foreign liquor flows all over the state as their fundamental right.
Meanwhile, the opposition Communist parties have not promised the liquor ban or fight against corruption in the state, as the former rulers, they know they cannot avoid bribes and commissions from lucrative deals. In Kerala communists are among rich sections of the society. Contracts and illegal deals and real estate etc have made them all rich.
In fact, common people of Kerala also do not expect or seek any favors from the government as members of almost every family are working in Arab countries and send money home regularly.
Common people of Kerala are not much worried about who will win or who will lose. The elections in fact do not make any difference to them as they know the politicians care only for their own families, and won’t do any good for the people. Like in Tamil Nadu, Kerala politicians do not help the people without getting their dirty palms suitably greased.