Jun 04, 2023
Jun 04, 2023
by Dr. P Koshy
2014 was the turning point for the UDF. After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the UDF turned out to be more lenient towards the LDF/CPM with regard to investigation into the T P Chandrashekharan murder case. Thereafter, we witnessed the LDF and the Congress becoming partners. This partnership that emerged in the post 2014 Lok Sabha elections contributed to the erosion of the Congress’s support base.
The 2016 victory of the LDF is mainly due to “anti-communist-CPM” vote consolidation in favour of BJP-NDA alliance. In 2011 LDF got 44.99 percent while in 2016 it was 43.42 percent . In 2016, the BJP alliance share went up to 14.65 percent from 6.07 percent in 2011. And UDF’s share came down from 45. 89 percent in 2011 to 38. 8 percent.
Historically, the relevance of the Congress and the UDF in Kerala has always had more to do with their capacity to counter Marxist-Communist parties. With the Congress – Communist partnerships both at the national level and in West Bengal, the UDF government was forced to be mild and extremely lenient towards the left.
Here, the NDA-BJP emerged as the countering force. In the coming days, it is likely to grow and expand its support base.
Businesses, traders and scores of youth entrepreneurs turned towards NDA, that otherwise have voted for the UDF. They want freedom from Hartals and Bandhs which have become routine in the state.
What is seen today, is the process of disintegration of the UDF.Leader of one of the smaller UDF partner, as publically stated by Mr. PC George, tried to become Chief Minister. UDF has political parties that do not share its common interests and ideology.
UDF lost one of its best opportunities to defeat the LDF, particularly at a time when common voters and youth are upset with incidents like T. P Chandrashekharan, other political killings and the CPM-VS Achutanandan’s stand on developmental issues and job generating investment projects.
Team Solar and the developments related to Sarita S Nair, meanwhile, were causes for celebration for the media and the opposition, during the time of Mr. Ommen Chandy. This is suggestive of how an entrepreneur would be treated in Kerala. Further, Indian democracy hit a new low when allegations surfaced about demand for bribe to waive tax proposals to suit certain business houses by then UDF Finance Minister. This deflated the credibility of the government and the leadership lost its fighting spirit. If one looks long and hard at the events, the allegations regarding payment for making changes in budget proposals was extremely serious, and with this, the UDF and the Congress lost all ethical standing.
The Left and the Janata Parivar thrived on anti-Congressism as one of their cardinal mobilizing ideas. They were together with JanSangh and later on with the BJP on a number of occasions. Left and Socialists together shared power with the Jana Sangh and the BJP at the center. They were allies in many states of India as well.
The Congress party’s partnership with the Left Parivar would weaken the party more. The eagerness being shown by the congress leadership to run after political allies and partners, with whom they cannot do business can only reduce the party’s muscle.
The NDA is emerging more acceptable and more inclusive. It has now allies from a broad spectrum of society. Indeed, what was more pronounced was the use of a communal polarization approach by the Marxist Communists. Just for instance, they fielded candidates looking at the communal polarization capability leading to victory. The TV journalist -turned politician Ms. Veena George, a Communist- Marxist candidate from Aranmula, successfully used her Syrian Orthodox identity to polarize votes in her favour. Communal polarization strategies, as long as that is being adopted by CPM or their allies, wont amount to communal politics but just a strategy to defeat communalism and fascism!
More by : Dr. P Koshy
Since independence Congress have been playing the policy of divide and rule with religion. Now people of this country started learning the trick, which resumble in the name of NDA. They have no other agenda, but they should realise nobody can fool others always. The inevitable day should come ultimately.
|While I do agree with your insightful views, the reason for increase in vote-share of the BJP/NDA was the V. Natesan factor where a sizable number of Ezhava votes tilt towards BJP/NDA that would have otherwise gone to the Congress/UDF. And the Leftists consolidated majority of Muslim and Christian votes in north as well as in Eastern parts. The split in the Kerala Congress(M) too played its part to a great extend, though Mani still snatched a win for him. The victory of P.C. George from Poonjar is proving his real worth that despite denied alliance by both LDF & UDF, George proved his real worth. Congress' shift from its stand after 2014 general election is true to a great extend, but the Sarita factor and the Bar License issue too played the spoil sport in the election for UDF. But, let us hope and wait what kind of governance Vijayan and his team will present. I was not expecting that Aranmula Kannadi visit and other gifts by Vijayan to Modi and his Cabinet Ministers any how.|