Although the CPM is gloating over its victory in the Kerala assembly polls and leaders making tall claims of Kerala going the West Bengal way, the fact remains that a slight change in the voting pattern, may change the whole results to the opposite side. The CPM led LDF has won 98 seats in the 140 member House by polling 75.59 lakh votes (48.63 per cent) of the total polled votes of 155.43 lakh (72 per cent polling). The Congress led UDF has polled 66.80 lakh votes (42.98 per cent) winning 42 seats. The BJP which came second in Manjeswar and Kasargod polled 7.38 lakh votes (4.75 per cent). The vote difference between LDF and UDF is only 8.79 lakh votes (5.65 per cent). In the 2001 assembly polls (47.95 per cent), LDF 61 lakh votes (38.75 per cent) and BJP 7.90 lakh votes (5.02 per cent), the polling percentage remaining 72 per cent. The vote difference in 2001 was 14.48 lakh votes (9.20 per cent) with the UDF winning 100 seats and LDF 40 seats. The CPM'sday dream of continuous rule as in West Bengal can be torpedoed by any of the caste, community groups which it has now placated to win this poll.
The two groups led by North Kerala strong man and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and South Kerala titan and newly elected Chief Minister V.S Achutanandan existed, is now being publicly acknowledged by the politburo and CPM general secretary Prakash Karat. The drama that preceded the CPM politburo and state committee decision to allow V.S. to contest from his Malampuzha seat is as bright as daylight. Pinarayi Vijayan became a liability for the politburo due to his involvement in the Rs. 376 crore SNC-LAVLIN-KSEB power deal and his adamancy in allying with Karunakaran'sDIC.
Pinarayi group has put several pre-conditions to the P.B. and central committee. The home portfolio which is normally held by the Chief Minister should be given to Pinarayi loyalists Kodiyeri Balakrishnan or Polali Mohammed Kutty. The CM'spolitical secretary should be chosen by Pinarayi. Pinarayi Loyalist and V.S. baiter Thomas Issac should be made Finance Minister etc. V.S. on the other hand wants to retain the home and vigilance portfolios to out beat his detractors especially Pinarayi whose SNC-LAVLIN scam is under vigilance and CBI probe. Similarly he wants to attack several mafias in the state who are operating with the support of Pinarayi loyalists in the CPM. P.K. Kunjalikutty of the Muslim League who is involved in a sex scandal is a close friend of Pinarayi Vijayan. Similarly Muslim League M.P., P.V. Abdul Wahab, a suspected front-man of Dawood Ibrahim and a leading businessman of Kerala is a close friend of Pinarayi and his trips abroad are financed by Abdul Wahab. Pinarayi had on the sly created an image that V.S. was anti-minority and he was prevented from campaigning in North Kerala due to the high concentration of Muslims there. V.S. also wants his secretary from his camp. Hence, in the coming days we can see more actions within the CPM.
The future is going to be very tough for the CPM. The V.S. Pinarayi war will only intensify as V.S. has announced his tough stand against mafias and corruption cases. The demands of the allies are going to increase.
Soon after the LDF defeat in 2001, the CPM came to the conclusion that unless it gets the 45 per cent Christian and Muslim votes in Kerala, it cannot win. Systematic efforts were made to woo the Christians in South and Muslims in North Kerala. CPM leaders started visiting Bishops? palaces, madarasas, mosques, etc. and issues concerning them taken up strongly. Be it is attack in Bishop'shouse in Neyyattinkara or U.S. attacks in Iraq, Iran or George Bush'svisit to India, the CPM played the minority card to the hilt. Pinarayi visited the markaz of Kanthapuram Musaliar and declared CPM is not against Islam and Prakash Karat participated in Bishop Paulose Mar Poulose Memorial Lecture and declared CPM will unite with church to attack RSS.
The road ahead
The future is going to be very tough for the CPM. The V.S. Pinarayi war will only intensify as V.S. has announced his tough stand against mafias and corruption cases. The demands of the allies are going to increase. The jehadi forces and the Christian groups which have supported the CPM will demand their pound of flesh. Jehadi Extremism which is at abnormal levels will only increase if as promised by CPM, Madani is released from Coimbatore Jail. How can CPM take strong action when it has come to power using his name? Similarly the church which has interests in education, health care, encroachment of forest/revenue lands, ganja cultivation, liquor, sex rackets, etc. will face strong resistance from V.S. who has vowed to break all mafias. Moreover despite the CPM'shobnobbing with the Muslims, the Hindu cadre of CPM do not go well with them as can be seen in the CPM-Muslim clashes in Nadapuram and several pockets of North Kerala.
Before long CPM led LDF will collapse in the weight of its internal contradictions, as Kerala with its 45 per cent minority population is not Bengal.