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2-min read

The M&M Factor That Helped The Left Surge in Kerala

The Left is back in the land where it all started for the communists in 1957. Many expected it to happen. And I would call it the M factors — Modi and Muslims.

Radhakrishnan Nair | CNN-News18

Updated:May 19, 2016, 3:05 PM IST
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The M&M Factor That Helped The Left Surge in Kerala
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The Left is back in the land where it all started for the communists in 1957. Many expected it to happen. And I would call it the M factors — Modi and Muslims.

Clearly a development that bred corruption and the brazen support to some scam-tainted ministers did not go down well. But the real story for the super success of the Left in Kerala this time is not anti-incumbency or the huge hope from its government.

It is the Muslims and possibly the Christians who voted for the Left big time.

Why?

They feel that the Left is better than Congress to take on Narendra Modi. That is a huge vote of no confidence for the Congress. This seems to be the story of the Congress in Assam and West Bengal too.

Shashi Tharoor tried a feeble explanation: "Congress is the second best national alternative."

Is it really? Two more states down and just six to go. That is another story.

A fight has already broken out in the Congress. Former chief minister K Karunakaran’s son Muralidharan has lashed out at KPCC VM Sudheeran for having highlighted corruption of their own ministers during elections. A self goal of sorts!

Rahul Gandhi wanted corrupt leaders to step down, but Oommen Chandy resisted and has not paid a price for this.

The BJP with around 11% has taken away votes and certainly mind space in the state. The party has also opened its account in Kerala. Some its candidates have come in the second place.

This is a new trend for Kerala. The journey from here is going to be interesting.

The Left and Congress have to come to terms with this. Living in denial of the BJP will not work now.

The Left has a brute domination in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Kannur, Palghat, Alapuzha, Kozhikode and Kollam. In Muslim League dominated Malapuram, the UDF put up a good show because the former has dedicated votes and that hasn’t swung to the Left.

In Manjeswaran the BJP lost to the Muslim League by just 89 votes. It seems the Muslims have deserted the Congress but not the Muslim league and added more sheen to the Left resurgence.

Issues like prohibition did not cut ice with the women voters as even the LDF has promised it. Women safety played on the minds of the voters after the Jisha incident.

The other clincher is that the Left and its lead party CPI-M stood as one and did not show up the cracks between the popular VS Achuthanandan and the leader Pinarayi Vijayan. Even the rank and file have come to terms with the facts that it’s time to transfer the baton to Pinarayi.

There is a hope that they will give up the culture of strikes and hartals and take the state on the road to development -- sustained development. Otherwise there are more options than one next time.

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