People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 42

October 18, 2009

LDF Likely to Win Byelections in Kerala

 

C P Aboobacker

 

THAT the voters of Kerala would put the United Democratic Front (UDF) in their negative list, was what V S Achuthanandhan, the chief minister of Kerala, declared in Kannur. This he said while inaugurating the election campaign of M V Jayarajan, the candidate of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the byelection from Kannur assembly constituency, at a hugely attended meeting in Kannur city. He expressed the hope that the recent Indo-ASEAN free trade agreement has made the people of Kerala realise the true character of the UDF whose leaders, ably assisted by the TV channels at their beck and call, deceived the masses in the last parliamentary elections. They have realised that the agricultural sector of the state would be in tatters when the free trade agreement comes into force. Up till now the agreement has been only signed, but this too has begun to cast its evil effects upon the people. In fact, the UDF is seeking to justify the agreement even while it is crystal-clear that it would jeopardise the livelihood, property and the very life of the people of Kerala. The UDF is campaigning that all our products are in the negative list, and they in fact have nothing to say positive. But the people have realised the UDF’s evil game and firmly decided to put the UDF itself in the negative list. Achuthanandhan said times have changed since the last elections. The unholy alliance between the UDF, Popular Democratic Front (the changed name of the semi-fascist outfit NDF), BJP and all other fissiparous forces and anti-secular elements will have to face a severe trial in which the jury will be the people, and the verdict will be an emphatic “No” to the UDF and an emphatic “Yes” to the LDF.

The Kerala chief minister recalled the prime minister of India’s promise to discuss the issues before the signing the agreement with the chief ministers of various states; that is the practice to be followed in a federal system. But Dr Manmohan Singh did not keep his promise. In its stead, he sent out the commerce minister in a hurry to sign the Indi-ASEAN free trade agreement that would kill the agriculture, fish harvesting and the people of Kerala. India is a country where one and a half lakh peasants have committed suicide because the terrible fall in the prices of their products. But the central government and the UDF have done nothing to put a check to this fall in output prices and save the peasantry from depression and suicide.  On the other hand, within one and a half years of coming to power, the LDF was able to fully stop the peasant suicides in Kerala. There is no magic involved in it; it is the pro-peasant measurers of the LDF government that did the magic of saving them.

There is no doubt that the results of the parliamentary elections had created some illusion. But the people are now well on the path of realisation of the truth. What has happened so far is an eye-opener. The first Manmohan government did not have the strength or courage to sell out and privatise our public sector undertakings, allow FDI in the insurance sector, etc. The Left stood as a sentinel so as to safeguard the interests of the Indian people. When the Left withdrew its support, the Manmohan government most opportunistically and most immorally purchased MPs in order to get through and sign the 123 agreement. However, after winning the elections somehow on the strength of the illusions the media sowed among the people, the Congress led second UPA government has now embarked full steam on a privatisation course.

Achuthanandhan said the people have before them the achievements of the LDF government in the 40 months of its existence. The LDF took measures to provide land to the landless. It freed Munnar from the usurpers. Construction of houses for the homeless through the EMS Haven Nirman Scheme is going on and nearly two lakh families would benefit from it. The much trumpeted Chengara struggle was brought to an end through a compromise, thus disappointing those adventurist elements who wanted bloodshed and chaos so that they could have a ground to target the LDF government. The LDF government has been giving rice to 26 lakhs of families at Rs 2 per kilogram. These are all pro-poor measures, said Achuthanandhan, asking: Can the centre claim any such measure on its own, except those taken during the tenure of the first Manmohan government under pressure from the Left?

The byelections to three assembly constituencies --- Kannur, Ernakulam and Alappuzha --- are slated to take place on November 7. While M V Jayarajan of the CPI(M) will, contest the Kannur seat as the LDF candidate, Krishna Prasad of the CPI will be the LDF nominee in Alappuzha. Thus, while LDF has declared its candidates in the two above mentioned constituencies, its candidate for Ernakulam will be declared soon.

As it is, the LDF appears to be far ahead of the UDF in the latter’s sitting seats as well. By the time of filing this report, the UDF had not yet declared its candidates. It is another thing that the pro-UDF TV channels in the state are making their hectic efforts to make the people believe that it is in the LDF camp that there is confusion. In fact, the attempt of some UDF leaders to put up as a candidate a person who was recently expelled from the CPI(M) has created big resentment among the Congress workers which constitute the major support of the UDF.

No doubt the Lok Sabha elections yielded such results as were not expected even by the Congress leaders. But the growing realisation among the people about the real face of the Congress and UDF may most probably give a shock to the latter UDF in the coming byelections.