There are serious rumblings in God's own country, but it appears 'God' is cool and calm and not about to quit, not yet. And while poll pundits and soothsayers are doing their bit of whitewashing, it is a joke that has stolen the narrative. Humour is the best hammer - what say?
To quote a joke doing rounds in Kerala, a reporter asks Oommen Chandy (after the results are announced on May 19th) when he plans to resign as Chief Minister of Kerala as the LDF is all set to form the next government. An unperturbed Chandy asks, "Why should I resign?"
Foxed, the reporter persists and asks again, "But if LDF has won, then UDF's cabinet should resign?"
Chandy once again asks for proof that the LDF has won. The reporter says the Election Commission has announced the results.
â€śItâ€™s not been brought to my attention, and even if they have announced it, let them submit proof to me,â€ť says Chandy adding further that even if the LDF had won, what was the proof that his coalition the UDF has lost.
"My conscience will never let me resign without conclusive proof," says Chandy.
To those just tuning into Kerala politics, the joke succinctly underscores the story of the UDF government over the past five years, especially it's attitude to brazen out two scams that hit the government between the eyes. One is the bar bribe scam and the other, more colourful solar scam which has turned into a veritable sitcom swinging between the serious and the ribald.
Biju Ramesh (bar bribe scam whistleblower) and Saritha Nair (solar scam whistleblower) have hogged the limelight for some time now with allegations that should have sent the Chandy government running for cover. When Biju Ramesh submitted audio tapes of conversations about money paid to ministers including former Finance Minister KM Mani, Chandy made light of it saying there was no conclusive evidence.
When Saritha Nair released an audio tape of conversations with ministers and MLAs or letters written by her or addressed to her, Chandy dismissed them while sulking at the same time that it was all a plot to malign him.
The public is not dupe. People in Kerala know that both Biju Ramesh and Saritha Nair are publicity-crazy and not everything they alleged could be believed, but Chandy has been far too dismissive and even belligerent in running them down. The worst was his decision to to not sack KM Mani and it finally took a court censure to make him quit. Even then there was no apology.
The joke, as they say, may finally be on 'God' in god's own country who is clearly facing a rout at the hands of the people. Maybe he will say he will not resign from his job till he has received instructions from the High Command in Delhi.