The CPM is in deep crisis in Kerala. The bitter war between Chief Minister VS Atchudanandan and State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan continues unabated. Non-performance has been the hallmark for the past four years. Corruption and wealth amassment have reached unimaginable level with CPI(M) being called Capitalist Party of India (Money). Now, the CPM has lost Christian vote bank, which it had cultivated for two decades and Muslim support which it had got for the last ten years. A stripped CPM is now desperately trying to cover itself with Hindu vote bank. In this context S Chandrasekhar had a long talk with Shri O Rajagopal, former Union Minister and veteran BJP leader.
On CPM misrule
The CPM was voted to power in 2006 with great expectations. They won 100 out of the 140 seats. But during these four years, they have made themselves a huge burden on the people, by their misdeeds and misrule. The Chief Minister and CPM secretary are always at loggerheads, with hands at each other’s throat. Corruption, wealth accumulation, both personal and party arrogance, attack on Police Stations and even molesting lady constables have become the curse of CPM/DYFI.
Its mal-performance, infighting, corruption etc. have been taken note of by the elite voters of Kerala. They have lost the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Trends from by-elections to local bodies show that CPM is in for a major rout.
Christian-Muslim Vote Banks
The CPM has been getting a respectable chunk of the 23 per cent Christians vote-bank of Kerala through Joseph Group of Christian dominated Kerala Congress for the last two decades. From 2006, CPM has been successful in wooing Christian sections like Latin Catholics, Pentecost etc. through its cultivation of Sebastian Paul, Manoj Kurishinkal etc. Both these former CPM MPs have fallen out with the party and are on the threshold of joining Congress. CPM’s attempt to take-over professional colleges run by church, violent SFI agitations against them and Pinarayi calling Bishops ‘despicable characters’ have infuriated the strong church of Kerala. Now with the open support of church, there is a move to merge all the Kerala Congress factions and build a strong ‘Christian vote-bank’. The Joseph-Mani-PC George merger is a move in this direction.
The CPM has been, for the last decades, wooing the anti-Muslim League, Muslim vote-banks. It has been cultivating jehadi elements like Madhani’s PDP, Sulaiman Sait’s INL, NDF-popular front – SDPI, Jamaat-E-Islami, Sunni factions etc. It held its state meet at Kerala’s Pakistan, Malappuram. It received major chunk of Muslim votes in 2006 assembly polls. But its attempt failed in 2009, due to Hindu anger, which led to its rout. Pinarayi shared stage with Madhani and asked votes for a Jehadi, Hussain Randathani in Ponnani. CPM symbol was painted in green. This led to strong resentment among CPM cadres, who are Hindus. They abstained from voting leading to Randathani’s defeat.
Now, sensing the mood of a Christian consolidation, Muslims of all hues and ideologies are flocking together to avoid split in Muslim votes and increasing the bargaining power. INL, J-E-I, have severed ties with CPM.
Now CPM is in danger of losing 25 per cent Muslim votes and 23 per cent Christian votes completely. On the contrary an already upbeat Congress is confident of consolidating the 48 per cent minority votes to its kitty, even those of jehadis.
Hindu vote, CPM’s Ploy
Now bereft of the Christian/Muslim votes, CPM is wooing the Hindu vote-bank desperately. Over the years, 80 per cent of Kerala’s land, business, economy, money power, political power and educational institutions are under the control of Christians and Muslims.
CPM is basically a Hindu party in Kerala, with 90 per cent of its cadres and supporters are Hindus. In places like Nadapuram, in Malappuram, CPM Hindus have blocked Muslims for several days. Its cadres are believers and regularly go to Sabarimala. After the CPM Meet in Malappuram lakhs of cadres in thousands of buses, cars, jeeps with red flags flocked to Guruvayur temple for darshan of Sri Krishna.
Also, there is a new enlightenment among Hindus due to the strong work of RSS and its associated organisations in Kerala. The one lakh strong Purna Ganavesh Maha Sanghik at Kollam has made many eyes wink. Also efforts of Hindu Parliament, Temple Parliament, supported by all Hindu caste organisations, mutts, Maharaja of Travancore etc. have made the Hindus realise the need for unity.
CPM wants to usurp this Hindu unity, forced due to Christian-Muslim hegemony, to its advantage. This is the reason why Chief Minister accused Congress of Christian – Muslim Communalism. This is a last bid strategy of CPM to remain afloat.
The UPA-I regime in New Delhi was fully supported by CPM/Left. Their agenda was to keep BJP out of power. Now Congress along with ex-Congress parties like NCP, Trinamul etc. have almost 240 seats. The left is opposed to UPA-II.
BJP and CPM are naturally forced to fight against corruption, mis-deeds of UPA, etc. in the areas of telecom, defence scams, price rise etc. Due to dynamic efforts of Leader of Opposition Smt Sushma Swaraj, there is more opposition and floor co-ordination in Parliament. Passage of Women’s Reservation Bill was feathers in the caps of Sushma and Brinda Karat. Sushma regularly meets CPM/CPI leaders in Parliament for better floor co-ordination. This is not to the liking of Congress. Hence they are spreading false news of CPM-BJP tie-up to create fears among minorities and usurp the entire Christian-Muslim vote. CPM has worked in tandem with Jan Sangh during Emergency. In the interest of the nation, BJP will work with anybody, since it is a Nation First and Party Second movement.
CPM Ploy to Usurp BJP Votes
The BJP has a strong presence in Kerala. Its vote-bank fluctuates between 10-15 lakh depending upon the polls. This is not a mean achievement where the total polled votes come to 1.70 crores. Lok Sabha seats are won on less than 1000 margin. CPM will certainly attempt to woo the RSS/BJP votes shedding crocodile tears for the Hindus. The BJP has to be guarded in not dividing the new found Hindu unity, visible in Kerala.