(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 14, 2010
The LDF Performance
In the Local Bodies Election
IMMEDIATELY after the announcement of the election results of the local bodies in Kerala, held in two phases, a wide-ranging campaign was unleashed that the Left and Democratic Front (LDF) has been defeated absolutely and that even the political base of the Left has been eroded. One can irrefutably counter the irrationality of such a campaign while assessing the LDF performance and voting status in a serious and sober manner. It is a fact that the LDF could not accomplish the expected victory. The Party has already commenced the task of reviewing the election at all levels of the organisation. The state committee meeting held recently could not fulfill this task as it had to conclude before schedule due to the sudden demise of Comrade I V Das, a member of the state committee. Even then the Party has arrived at a primary understanding from the deliberations held till the end of the meeting.
In the previous elections to the local self government institutions, held in 2005, the LDF got 49.22 per cent of the total polled votes and in the present election it has polled 42.32 per cent and thus registered a decrease of 6.9 per cent. During the 2005 elections, the DIC(K), a split section of the Congress party, and the INL had supported the LDF. This time a major section in the JD(S) and Kerala Congress (J) left the LDF and supported the United Democratic Front (UDF) in this election. It is to be noted that in the 2005 election the DIC(K), JD(S), KC(J) and the INL got 4.67 per cent, 2.37 per cent, 1.79 per cent and 0.35 per cent votes respectively and altogether it comes to 9.18 per cent. When this is deducted from the LDF vote share in 2005 election, the LDF got 40.04 per cent votes. But in the present election, the LDF polled 42.32 per cent votes. So, it obviously vindicates that the political base of the LDF has not been weakened as the propaganda unleashed by the reactionary forces want everyone to believe.
In the local bodies election held in 2000, the LDF had got 42.64 per cent votes. While comparing the present LDF vote of 42.32 per cent with the 2000 results, it is a meager decrease of 0.32 per cent. The LDF is able to sustain more or less 42 per cent votes in all elections and thus it always maintains a solid political base. However, the UDF base was not as solid as that of the political foundation of the LDF. The UDF time and again has got lesser votes than the current voting percentage of the LDF in many of the 11 elections held since 1995. The UDF got only 38.45 per cent votes in the 2004 parliamentary election. In 2005 local bodies election, the UDF got 40.21 per cent votes and in the 2006 assembly election its voting share was 41.48 per cent. It evidently establishes the fact that in the three consecutive elections, the UDF voting share was lesser than the present voting share of the LDF.
It is a fact that 38 per cent vote share is the lowest that the UDF ever got and it proves that the political base of the LDF is more solid than the UDF base. In Kerala, the UDF does not have such a solid political support to confront the firm base of the LDF. The additional votes polled in favor of the UDF are not the reflection of its political support but it comes from certain external sources out side its political support. The communal, terrorist organisations and other reactionary forces are those external sources of support. It is crucial for the UDF to ensure the existence of such communal and terrorist outfits and encourage them as part of the political existence of the UDF itself. It is evident from the fact that such communal outfits were given a free hand in their activities whenever the UDF came to power and consequently the state had witnessed numerous instances of communal clashes and terror activities during its tenure. To facilitate the tranquility of the social, political and cultural atmosphere in Kerala, it is inevitable to further strengthen the Left politics in the state. Such a political consciousness assumes vital significance in protecting the legacy of the renaissance and secularism in Kerala.
Compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the voting share of the LDF has improved and strengthened in these local body elections. In the Lok Sabha elections, the LDF had secured 67,17,438 votes in the state. In the local bodies elections it polled 77 81,671 votes, a significant increase of 10,64,233 votes. In all districts, the LDF voting share has increased while comparing to the 2009 Lok Sabha election. In Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhikkode districts, there was an increase of more than one lakh votes – 1,65,523, 1,25,653 and 1,19,101 votes in the respective districts. The increase in Eranakulam was 94,049 votes; Thrissur - 89,176 votes; Kannur – 85,504 votes; Palakkad – 84,288 votes; Alappuzha – 72,795 votes; Wayanad – 63,421 votes, Pathanamthotta – 51,632 votes and in Kottayam – 50,488 votes. And in other districts including Malappuram, Idukki and Kasaragod the increase was 23,811, 21,342 and 17,447 votes respectively. The LDF maintained such an increase of votes in all districts while the UDF voting share has decreased in Kannur and Alappuzha districts compared to the last election.
The UDF has forged many unholy alliances with communal outfits throughout the state. The heinous act of chopping off the hand of a college lecturer was condemned by all secular and democratic sections in the society. But the UDF was not reluctant to transfer its votes in favor of the Popular Front (SDPI) candidate who is an accused in the hand chopping case. As a result, the criminal got elected in the Vanchinadu division of the Vazhakkulam Block Panchayath. The Vanchinadu Block Panchayath division consists of eight Grama Panchayath wards, of which seven were won by the UDF candidates. The LDF could win only in a single ward and that too with a margin of 3 votes. In all the 8 divisions of the Gram Panchayath, the UDF got 4209 votes where as in the Block division the UDF vote has decreased to 2089 votes and thus the SDPI vote increased to 3992 votes. As part of the communal coalition, the UDF was not hesitant to transfer its votes to even terrorist outfits and thus made a blot on the democratic and secular fabric of the state. This act of the UDF is indisputably an act of embarrassment to the cultural ethos of the state. The UDF was never hesitant to ally with any of the communal outfits for its narrow political gains. It has once again been exposed in the local bodies election and no doubt, the secular minded people of the state will realise this fact and will react against such abhorrent act of the UDF in the future days to come.
The same UDF that paved way for the victory of the accused in the hand chopping case, now ridiculously unleashes a campaign that the SDPI candidate’s win in the Kannur municipality is due to the Left support! Such a baseless allegation is leveled as part of its strategy to hide its alliance with the communal and terrorist organisations. While considering the voting pattern in that municipal ward, it is very obvious that the SDPI victory in that ward is also because of the UDF’s vote transfer in favor of the SDPI candidate. During the 2005 local body elections INL had contested with the LDF support in this ward and the INL candidate got 560 votes. During the 2009 parliament election, the LDF candidate got 140 votes in that ward. After the parliament election, in the assembly by election the LDF vote has further decreased to 133 votes. And in the present local body elections, it has increased to 169 votes. This establishes the fact that the LDF votes had not been transferred in favor of any other candidate. The UDF vote share here has reduced compared to the parliament election. In the parliament election, the UDF vote was 459 and it reduced to 381 votes in the assembly by election. And again in the present election, it has further reduced to 290 votes. The SDPI candidate got 325 votes and thus got elected. This clearly proves the fact that the UDF has eagerly shifted its votes in favor of the SDPI candidate as part of its communal alliance. Such an unholy alliance is part of the existence of the UDF itself and the Congress party time and again indulges in such deals with communal outfits for its narrow political gains.