People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIII

No. 23  

June 7, 2009

 

CPI(M) Kerala State Committee

On Lok Sabha Election Results

 

Below is the text of the statement issued by the Kerala state committee of the CPI(M) after its two-day meeting on May 28, 2009

 

IN the recent elections to the 15 Lok Sabha, Leftist forces suffered a setback in Kerala in particular and through out the country in general. Though Congress secured an increase of only two per cent in terms of votes at the national level, there was an appreciable increase in terms of seats. UPA has come back to power again. Our slogan of third front as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP did not succeed. People were not sufficiently convinced that third front would become a reality. This development became favourable to the Congress. However, the formation of third front was a setback to NDA in states like Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Most importantly, the CPI(M) suffered a setback in this election in Kerala and West Bengal. The Party lost 27 seats and 0.3 per cent of votes.

 

It can be seen that the all India trend often affects Lok Sabha elections in Kerala. The favourable trend to Congress at all India level this time has influenced Kerala too. But the decisive impact on the poll results have been the concrete circumstances in Kerala.

 

The LDF in Kerala faced the elections in a very unfavourable situation. Certain sections of people who were with it during the last elections had drifted away this time. Anti-communist forces effectively utilised the controversies emanating from the efforts of the LDF government in the state to exert social control over self-financing colleges. Many other communal organisations adopted a stand against the LDF.

 

Violation of Leninist principles of Party organisation led to creation of a bad impression among well-wishers of the Party in particular and people in general. This development created impediments in effectively confronting the wide propaganda carried out by UDF during the elections. Controversies regarding the government made it difficult to bring achievements of the government to the notice of the people.

 

This was a time when the monopoly media carried out the most vicious campaign against the Left, in fact similar to the anti-Left campaign during ‘liberation struggle’ days of first communist government in Kerala. A sizeable section of the media in Kerala is consciously unleashing a big propaganda against the Party. As part of this propaganda, a lot of misunderstanding was created about the Party among the people.

 

It was knowing this unfavourable situation that the Party assessed at the beginning stage of election work itself that majority of seats could not be won this time. However, the Nava Kerala march gave a new self confidence to the Party. Measures were adopted to bring different sections of people with the front. This heightened the expectations of victory.

 

But election results show that these attempts did not become fruitful. The UDF succeeded in making PDP’s cooperation with LDF a controversial subject during the elections. The PDP was not a constituent of LDF and it did not support LDF on the basis of any particular condition. It was appreciation of policies adopted by the CPI(M) and the LDF that prompted PDP to support the LDF. It was on finding that this support would increase the strength of LDF that all anti-LDF forces came to the scene alleging that PDP was a terrorist force. The UDF adopted the tactics of weakening LDF, alleging its relations with terrorism. This propaganda unleashed throughout Kerala was able to mislead some people who had rallied with the LDF. The NDF or Popular Front is a terrorist organisation in Kerala having links with terrorists. They supported the UDF. It was to mask this relation that the PDP controversy was raised.

 

Christian clergy in general adopted a position inimical to the LDF. Roman Catholic Church participated in the elections with a vengeance reminiscent of ‘liberation struggle’ days. The Party will improve its efforts to increase influence among religious minorities. Steps will be taken to assuage the concerns of Christian sections.

 

The UDF also utilised SNC Lavalin controversy. The media handled Lavalin issue as if it was the central issue in this election. What the then electricity minister in the LDF government, Pinarayi Vijayan, did was to carry out bonafide decision taken by the earlier UDF government. This was done by making the stipulations in the agreement more favourable to the state. It was with a political objective that the UDF made it a controversy and the CBI took a decision to prosecute.

 

Disunity in the Party as well as disputes in the LDF were not liked by the people. Some differences of opinion with the CPI in the beginning were settled later. But a section of Janata Dal (Secular) rallied with the UDF against the LDF. The section opposed to this move have staunchly sided with the LDF. They will continue to be in the LDF. However, these developments created an impression that there was disunity in the LDF. This made the people dissatisfied. The Party will take more care to further strengthen and unify the LDF.

 

A time-bound programme will be prepared to make the activities of the LDF government more efficient. Steps will be taken to correct certain deficiencies of the government which became evident during election days.

 

It is a serious weakness that the Party failed in assessing the trends of setback during the campaign period. Serious criticism and self-criticism will be carried out about this. Deficiencies on the part of Party comrades will be examined and corrected. Rectification campaign will be undertaken vigorously. More importance will be given to propaganda and study.

 

The vote percentage of Kerala LDF which was 46.08 during the last Lok Sabha elections has now come down to 41.89 per cent. Seats won have been reduced to four. Though this is a serious setback, the mass base of the LDF has not been disrupted. In 1999 LDF secured 43.68 per cent of votes. The Party assures the people that it will learn lessons from this setback, make necessary corrections and go forward.