People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 23, 2006
Failures Paving Way For LDF Victory’
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of opposition V S Achutanandan addressing an election rally
Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury has been extensively participating in the
ongoing assembly elections campaign of the Party. On his return to New Delhi
from a tour covering the states of Assam, Tamilnadu and Kerala, INN
spoke to him about the trends in these elections, particularly relating to
are the excerpts of the interview.
How do you rate the chances of the LDF in Kerala?
is clear that the LDF is moving towards a big victory. Many factors are
contributing to this, chief among which is the numerous failures of the UDF
government in the last five years. Not only has it failed in improving the
welfare of the people but also made their situation worse in many places. It
adopted a very authoritative attitude unleashing severe repression against
popular struggles. All this has contributed to the growing discontentment among
the people. The severe infighting in the Congress has tarnished the image of the
leader of the UDF alliance. It has been proved that Congress is a party of
opportunists and career seekers rather than a party capable of delivering good
governance. Apart from this the LDF and coalition leader CPI(M) has gained a lot
of goodwill among the people for its role as leader of the opposition. All these
are contributing for a decisive victory of the LDF.
Is there any increase in the mass appeal of the LDF ?
a result of these developments, many sections have voluntarily and unilaterally
declared their support to the LDF. This happened even while the LDF,
particularly the CPI(M), consciously and scrupulously refrained from making any
appeal to any specific organisation or section of people represented by such
organizations. The declaration of firm support to the LDF by these organisations
indicates the degree of discontentment with the UDF and prevalence of a sense of
betrayal of the promises made by UDF to garner the support of these sections in
The ruling combine is claiming that the LDF's inability to propose a chief ministerial candidate exposes its disunity?
Such a charge is ridiculous, that too coming from the Congress-led UDF. In the 2004 parliamentary elections, the Congress had projected Sonia Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate. The country ended up with Dr Manmohan Singh as the prime minister. In the last election in Kerala, Congress had projected A K Antony as their chief minister. Now they are facing the electorate with Oomen Chandy as the chief minister.
fundamentally, except in the situation where the incumbent CM is in the contest,
the CPI(M) has never declared its chief ministerial candidate in advance. This
is because in a democracy, the people are supreme. Suppose A or B is declared as
a CM candidate and the people defeat that candidate in that particular
constituency then everybody has to respect the verdict. The CM is chosen from
the elected representatives of the people. Respecting the people’s sovereignty
in a democracy, the CPI(M) decides on its CM only after the elections, unlike
The Congress in Kerala is charging the CPI(M) of being an anti-development party where as it is pro-development in West Bengal. What is your answer to this charge?
can only say that it is yet another ridiculous charge from the Congress. The
CPI(M), whether in Bengal or in Kerala or in Delhi, takes the same position on
all issues connected with the economic development and attitude towards the
state governments. The 18th congress of the Party has adopted a clear-cut
approach on the question of development. The CPI(M) differs fundamentally from
the Congress’ perception of development. Being a party of ruling classes, the
Congress’ concept of development is aimed at maximising profits at the expense
of imposing greater burdens on people while the CPI(M)'s concept seeks to
improve the living conditions of vast majority of the people. Hence this talk of
the Congress about CPI(M) being an anti-development party is another attempt to
mask its anti-people and pro-rich class approach.
far as Kerala is concerned the foundations for its extraordinary performance in
the fields of literacy, gender equality and other human development indices were
only laid by the successive LDF governments starting from EMS Namboodiripad
government in 1957 upto the E K Nayanar government between 1996-2001. If today's
Kerala is on the threshold of a new level of development, it is only the Left
that has to be given the credit. And it is only the Left that has a vision to
carry forward this further, making use of Kerala’s high level of literacy to
the fullest advantage in the new areas like IT and ITES.
What do you have to say on the UDF comment on opinion polls?
CPI(M) has never paid any attention to the results of opinion polls. The Party
relies only on the response it receives from its cadre and people. Having said
this, we find it strange that the Congress is so abusive of opinion polls that
suggest LDF victory. We may differ on numbers, but the trend is unmistakably
clear. Victory for Left is sure.
Congress criticising the opinion polls is also strange because it is the same
party and alliance which argued in favor of these surveys when they predicted
two-thirds majority for the UDF in the last elections. Then the Congress had
hailed it as being scientific and today they are terming the same surveys as
Will there be any surprises from the LDF this time?
There are going to be many surprises in the LDF win. New giant killers may also
emerge out of this battle. One likely such candidate is the SFI state president
who is locked in a battle with the chief minister Oomen Chandy.