When the election results of Lok Sabha poll came out, the happiest man in Kerala was VS Atchudanandan. It was a beaming and gleeing VS who met media, after the CPM was devastated in the poll, just winning four out of the twenty seats.
VS clearly stated that the vote was not anti-establishment and that he would not take the responsibility for the crushing defeat. He wanted to squarely put the blame for the defeat on his bete noire Pinarayi Vijayan—not without reasons!
For almost three decades, the Malabar lobby of the CPM, earlier led by the late EK Nayanar and now by Pinarayi Vijayan, has been trying to destroy him. They back-stabbed him by defeating him in 1996 election in Mararikulam, thereby denying him chief ministership. They also tried to deny him ticket in 2006 poll but with politburo intervention, he became MLA and CM. For three years now, Pinarayi Vijayan controlled party and most of the ministers owing allegiance to him have back-stabbed and humiliated VS making him incompetent, clownish and ineffective. But VS worked on the several commitments made before 2006 poll, which endeared him to the masses. His war against sex, land, liquor, sandalwood, sand and water mafias could not be continued after CPM came to power, since the party was the main culprit in the development and sustenance of these mafias.
The humiliating defeat of the CPM is the prize for its arrogance, corruption, vote-back politics and intense group war between VS and Pinarayi Vijayan.
Government offices and police personnel bore the brunt of CPM, SFI, DYFI and CITU arrogance. Police stations were attacked, when CPM cadres were arrested. Top IPS officers and women constables were attacked and molested in police station attacks. Government servants were forced to contribute huge amount of money to CPM funds and protestors were attacked or transferred to remote places. Even the judiciary was not spared. Foul words and burning of their effigies greeted them, when they delivered anti-CPM verdicts especially in CPM-RSS murder cases in Kannur.
Corruption is all-pervasive in all CPM-related departments. Even temples grossing crores of rupees like Sabarimala and Guruvayur are not spared. The CPM’s and Pinarayi Vijayan’s hand in the Rs. 337 crore SNC-Lavlin scam for renovation of power projects proved to be the last nail in the CPM’s coffin, hit violently by a power-starved state. From a power-selling state, Kerala has now become a power-begging state, thanks to Pinarayi.
The CPM’s murder politics, especially in Kannur against RSS, led to CPM’s humiliating defeat in the red bastion of Kannur. Its candidate DYFI national president KK Ragesh was stunningly defeated by Congress MLA, K Sudhakaran by a convincing margin of 43,000 votes. The CPM led in only one assembly segment out of the total seven. The people of Kannur are disgusted with the CPM murder politics and the bad name it gave to them elsewhere in the world.
The CPM’s attempt to take over educational and professional institutions being run by the Christians and Muslims led to strong resistance, especially from the church. They organised massive protests and issued pastoral letters in churches calling for defeat of CPM and LDF. The CPM, DYFI and SFI hit back by attacking the church-run institutions. Pinarayi Vijayan attacked bishops calling them despicable characters and money-making monsters. The determined vote of the 25 per cent Christians and 25 per cent Muslims led to the devastating defeat of the CPM in most districts of Kerala.
For almost a decade, the CPM has been plotting to usurp a major portion of Muslim votes to contain the Muslim League in its bastions of Kozhikode and Malappuram. It took the help of fringe Muslim groups like Jamaat-e-Islami, Kanthapuram Sunni branch and jehadi groups like NDF and Madhani’s PDP to achieve this objective. It lobbied hard with Karunanidhi for Madhani’s release from Coimbatore jail and gave a heroic welcome to him after his release. It usurped the CPI’s traditional seat of Ponnani and gave it to Hussein Randathani, a jehadi protege of Kanthapuram Musaliyar and Madhani. Although the CPI protested, it had to back out, since the CPI is a cadre-less party hanging on to CPM’s shoulders. Left to itself, it cannot get more than 1000 votes from any seat in Kerala.
To add insult to injury, the CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan shared the dais with Madhani in Ponnani. This was too much for the predominantly Hindu support base of CPM, especially in Malabar. They saw CPM symbols being painted on walls in green, instead of red. The “Hindu backlash” by the CPM cadres crumbled the CPM in the entire Malabar, except Kasargod, where it won, thanks to BJP, which polled 1.25 lakh votes.
The CPM won in Kasargod, Palakkad, Alathur and Attingal, and tasted defeat on 16 seats at the hands of the Congress-led UDF. In Palakkad, SFI’s stormy leader KK Rajesh scraped through by 1500 votes.
The UDF, which had got 58.05 lakh votes in 2004, increased them to 76.53 lakh votes in 2009. The CPM plummeted from 69.46 lakh votes in 2004 to 67.17 lakh votes now. With almost 20 lakh new voters, it could not increase its tally and lost substantial votes. The BJP has to do a lot of soul-searching and explaining. For almost 15 years, except 2004, its vote share has remained around 6 per cent. It got only 10.31 lakh votes, i.e., 6.43 per cent votes now, despite a large numbers of 18+ aged RSS cadres becoming voters and hectic campaigning by senior BJP leaders. Except K Surendran, who got 1.25 lakh votes, nobody crossed the one-lakh mark including PK Krishnadas in Thiruvananthapuram and V Muraleedharan in Kozhikode. The BJP failed to exploit the Hindu backlash to its advantage owing to the CPM-Madhani tie-up.
The Congress-led UDF has to guard against the jehadi NDF, now renamed PFI (Popular Front of India), as it is demanding its pound of flesh for supporting the UDF and Muslim League.