Have to be vigilant against a saffron surge say leaders

BJPs win in UP a big lesson but Keralas secularism strong Left leaders to TNM
news Politics Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 16:20

Till 2016 assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janatha Party had tried its best to open its account in Kerala. Though the party’s vote share increased considerably in the previous elections, the UDF and LDF were successful in preventing the saffron party from winning a single seat till 2016.
The Left in Kerala has been open about how it views the BJP wave in the rest of the country. It believes that it has to be the breakwater against which the BJP shatters. The rivalry intensifying to such an extent that violence has become the first consequence of such a head-on collision.  

The News Minute asked various Left leaders in Kerala their reactions to the BJP’s win and whether they believed that Kerala may also see a saffron surge soon.

MA Baby, CPI (M) Polit Bureau member 

The BJP’s victory would have a big impact on Indian politics. There was an anti-incumbency trend in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab. We need to carefully watch how BJP would use this victory. The RSS and BJP  after elected to power, began to interfere in people’s life by commanding what to wear, what to eat and how people should live. Recently, an RSS leader declared a bounty for beheading Kerala CM. These are fascist moves similar to what had happened in Nazi Germany.

The BJP achieved its victory in Uttar Pradesh through religious-caste engineering , and by misguiding the people in the name of caste. The BJP spread a false propaganda that 22 per cent of Muslims in UP had united to oppose the majority. This in turn galvanized the majority in favour of the BJP. This is anti-democratic and the BJP owes its victory to such political crimes.

M B Rajesh, CPI (M) MP from Palakkad

The victory of the BJP is a big lesson; it's a lesson for Kerala as well. It tells us that the BJP becomes strong where there is no effective alternative. The BJP can be opposed in two ways; first by consolidating opinion in issues affecting people. Second is to build a strong alternative against them. The election experiences from Bihar and Delhi have proven that BJP could be defeated with a strong alternative.

In Kerala, an anti-BJP force already exists, one led by the Left. But we have to strengthen that. We have to be more vigilant. The RSS and the BJP would go to any extent for political gains. The Left came to power in Kerala this time by successfully resisting communal forces. We will continue to strengthen this resistance by mobilising people. 

K N Balagopal, CPI (M) Kollam district secretary and former MP

The BJP's win in UP and Utharakhand would not have been possible if the political opponents in these states had been united. BJP owes its victory to communal polarisation. BJP has nurtured communalism over the years. This is very precarious in the long-term. Instead of focusing on grave issues like inflation, the BJP's poll agenda never deviated from caste. They have misused the machinery to act in their favour. Even judiciary was under the party's grip. The opponents of BJP couldn’t highlight the ill-effects of demonitisation. But the situation in UP and Kerala is not comparable. If the BJP plans to make Kerala a saffron state, it will never be successful.

 Pannian Raveendran, former CPI state secretary 

The BJP’s election victory in UP is not the result of their contributions to the nation. They have played caste cards to attain it. The Prime Minister through his vicious speeches has proven that he is communal. The opponents in the states couldn't build up a resistance against the BJP, focusing on the future of the nation. They instead, thought of temporary gains. Democratic forces there were divided and they lacked farsightedness.

Kerala's secular strength can't be weakened over a fortnight. The minorities here are aware of their rights. The secularism of majority Hindus has been developed through reformist movements.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.