People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 23, 2006
Marches Towards Historic Victory In Kerala
THE Left Democratic Front (LDF) is on its way to register a historic victory in the 2006 assembly elections. The LDF and more specifically the state unit of the CPI(M) were successful in expanding their base by mobilising people against the anti-people policies pursued by the UDF government in the past five years and waging militant struggles. This is visible in all the election victories it has registered since the 2001 elections. The present assembly elections will see the continuation of the same trend.
The LDF had polled 68.5 lakh votes in the 2001 assembly elections and won 40 of the 140 seats while the UDF has secured 77 lakh votes in those elections and won 100 seats. The difference between the two fronts was just 9 lakh votes. From then onwards, the CPI(M) has consistently waged struggles against the anti-people policies of the government and was able to mobilise common people from the Muslim and Christian communities. The result of these efforts was first visible in the by-election held to the Ernakulam parliamentary constituency in 2003. In the 1999 general elections the League was able to win this seat by defeating the LDF candidate by over 1.1 lakh votes. In the 2003 by-elections the CPI(M) candidate was able to break the fort of the League and wrest this seat winning it by over 23 thousand votes majority. This shows that a large section of the Muslim community is impressed by the political line pursued by the CPI(M).
In the 2004 general elections, the LDF got 55 thousand votes more than it had secured in the 2001 assembly elections. But the UDF has lost more than 20 lakh votes, bringing down its vote share from 77 lakh to 57 lakh. The BJP has secured 9 lakh votes while the independents got 11 lakh votes. Even the number of votes polled too has come down. The CPI(M) was able to win the Koothupurumba and Azhikode assembly seats in the by-elections that were held after the general elections. While the first two seats are held by the CPI(M), Tiruvalla was an addition to its tally. Muslim and Christian voters played an important role in the win of the CPI(M) in all these constituencies.
The Left was also victorious in the gram panchayat and district block elections that were held after these elections. Eleven of the 14 district blocks went to the Left’s kitty.
There are seven parties in the CPI(M)-led LDF. The CPI(M) is contesting in 84 seats this time while supporting 7 independent candidates. CPI is contesting 24 seats, RSP 4, Janata Dal (S) 8, Nationalist Congress Party 3, Kerala Congress (J) 7, Indian National League 3. Three central committee members of the CPI(M) – M A Baby, P K Gurudasan, M C Josephine and a Polit Bureau member – V S Achuthanandan are in the fray. Campaigning is going on in full swing all over the state. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury have toured the state so far.
The LDF manifesto reflects the interests of the common people. The main feature of the manifesto is promise of allocation of Rs 30 crore for agriculture. Other features include the measures to protect the peasantry from market onslaughts, to safeguard the traditional industry etc.