THE Congress led UDF which was expecting a landslide victory in the Kerala assembly polls had to be satisfied with a wafer thin margin of four seats in the one hundred and fourty member state assembly.
The Congress led UDF won 72 seats while the CPI-M led LDF got 68 seats.
The BJP as usual drew a blank in the state even though senior leader O Rajagopal gave a good fight to the CPI-M.
The Organiser had reported earlier that the CPI-M will lose its national significance if it fails in Kerala also as in West Bengal it was poised for a heavy drubbing .The party leadership will now have to do a lot of soul searching as to what happened to the party in the state even though it gave a run for the money to the UDF and the Congress.
The results of this elections needs quite a social analysis. The CPI-M election campaign was revolving around the Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan who in his traditional style had attacked the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress. He had even appealed to the public that there would be a Christian Chief Minister and a Muslim deputy if the UDF was voted to power. This theory of the Chief Minister paid rich dividends to the CPI-M and the Left Front as the front had won several seats by toppling top notch leaders.
This appeal by the Chief Minister albeit indirectly had created its effect in Kerala and the predominant Hindu community has directly voted for the CPI-M.
While the voting percentage was 75.1 in the state assembly this had not given much of a weight age to either of the fronts as the election results produced a neck and neck competition with the UDF scraping through with a slender margin.
The BJP which was expecting atleast one seat with the party conducting high profile campaigns including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley failed to open its account in the state even though O Rajagopal in Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram and Jayalakshmi Bhat in Kasargod gave sleepless time for the opponent candidates.
The election results if analysed immediately after the publishing will give indications that the Hindu community has voted for the CPI-M led Left Front and that this was the main reason for the LDF coming close to victory. The Chief Minister Achuthanandan has said in public that the Congress led UDF if coming to power will be controlled by a minority coterie and that the indications of Oomen Chandy as Chief Minister and Kunhalikutty as Deputy Chief Minister would come into reality if people voted for the Congress led UDF. This it seems has created a Hindu sentiment towards the CPI-M and specifically for Achuthanandan. While the CPI-M official faction led by its all powerful state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was not all that keen to get the party back to power ,given the hostilities he has with the Chief Minister Achuthanandan, it may be noted that this was the Hindu vote bank which had silently supported the CPI-M. This could be considered by the fact that the Hindu community which has not been thinking on communal lines in the state would be forced to think in that line if the Congress does not immediately change its style of functioning and appeasement of Minority vote bank.
It may be noted that the Muslim League which is an important coalition partner in the UDF has won 20 seats and the Kerala Congress(Mani) which is another coalition partner has won nine seats. Both these parties have opportunist agendas and would try to wrest maximum out of the Congress palm as these parties knows that it is with their direct support that the Congress and the UDF is retaining power. The Congress which has been expecting a seat count of more than ninety for the UDF will now naturally be in the back foot and succumb to the several conditions laid down by the coalition partners .In other words it will be a rule of the Church and the Muslim ulema in the state with the Congress leadership becoming mere spectators.
This would create a system of mutual mistrust between the Congress and its coalition partners and this would lead the government into chaos and confusion for the next five years. There are also possibilities of the Congress led UDF loosing some coalition partners and this could be the bait the coalition partners would show to the Congress Party to get their pound of flesh from the Congress coffers.
In addition to the maximum number of benefits including chairmanship of various boards and corporations there could be a clear wresting of control by the coalition partners including the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress (Mani). Congress think tanks have already put their head together as there is a possibility of KM Mani moving out of the UDF if there is a better offer from the LDF side. Mani has nine MLA’s which is a crucial figure as far as the present government is concerned. If KM Mani is mollified by the left then there can be a possibility of a left government also.
However sources in the Congress Party indicated that party would not succumb to any pressure from the coalition partners and that the party would lead in its natural style and will work for the benefit of the people.
All said and done the strong fight given by the LDF in the elections could be an indicator of the things to come in Kerala politics as the LDF which was written off by the main stream media and even the cadres alike has given a tough fight and a run for the money to the Congress and UDF which is only owing to the Hindu card played cleverly by the CPI-M in times of necessity.