P C Punnen
P C Punnen
In My View

The election that will be different

P.C. Punnen

P.C. Punnen

Seventy seven percent votes have been cast in Kerala. Eighty percent votes in Kasargod, Kannur, Vadakara, Kozhikode, Chalakudi and Alathur constituencies, mostly in Malabar. Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta have not reached a record level. Perhaps the BJP has a lot to learn or the voters have a lot to teach it.

The CPM, Congress and BJP, have announced that they will sweep the polls. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the CPM led alliance will win in 18 out of 20 seats in Kerala. An earlier report was that the CPM would win around 12 seats. The Congress also has announced that it would win 17 seats. The BJP is sure that it will open its account this time in Kerala.

The women of Kerala have voted in large numbers. This shows that they were determined to vote despite the heat of the summer, hats off to them! Talks are on the minority consolidation--- Muslims and Christians --- and in a counter move, of consolidation of Hindu votes especially based on the Sabarimala issue which is a key factor for a number of devotees. That is clear nonsense. In Kerala there is no chance of voters’ consolidation as in other states, as of now. What will happen tomorrow is difficult to say.

For the parties, the BJP and the Congress can take a stand whether in favour of Sabarimala temple being thrown open to all Hindus irrespective of their age, or against it. Both the BJP and Congress had said the SC order on Sabarimala is good but later changed their position. The Supreme Court was supposed to give its order on the revision petition filed against its verdict. The BJP has made it the only issue to win voters.

In Kerala 'kolibi' attempts is the talk that is common to people. The BJP and the Congress have struck a deal say the CPM. The Congress says Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister, is in cahoots with the BJP; once there was a Muslim League- BJP secret alliance. This kind of politics is not something new. The Congress had an understanding with the BJP too.

There is nothing wrong in such hidden understanding. Take for example Rajagopal's victory in Thiruvananthapuram to the Kerala Assembly. Politics is a strange game. It has been so in world history, for Hitler and Stalin for a while were thick as thieves. Later on they became worst enemies. This strange incident in world history led to millions of deaths in Russia and Hitler's Germany. It changed the world upside down; maybe India too would have been entirely different from what we see.

The game is a very devious one. Political leaders have to resort to that for sheer survival. In the Parliament the Marxists will have zero options, they will have to support the Congress.

Look at what AK Antony, senior leader of the Congress, said in Thiruvananthapuram. He hinted at an alliance with the Left with a view to oust the BJP from power. The Congress, he said, will ally with the secular parties to form a government. He was not sure about the Congress led alliance winning enough seats in Parliament. What he said is true and is relevant in the constituency where Shashi Tharoor is the Congress candidate, I guess- in the state capital.

But he or Rahul could have formed an alliance with the secular parties and would have won all the 20 seats in Kerala. Such an alliance would have kept the Kerala Congress and the Muslim League and sundry secularists out. Pinarayi, Kodiyeri and the CPI leaders together with the Congress should have struck a deal similar to what has been happening in Tamil Nadu. Today's friend is tomorrow's enemy, the idea that was behind the Congress and the DMK and their sundry allies.

Narendra Modi would have retired from politics much to the chagrin of many in BJP and in Congress if the Congress had formed a national alliance by giving each regional party their status. It would have made India a true federal state. Modi has the charisma and he is extremely good at fooling the masses. I quote Neerja Chaudhary in an article in the Times who said about the 2019 general elections. "It is going to be in Modi's way, but with a caveat".

In Kottayam which is widely known as a Congress district in the recent past it has become a Kerala Congress bastion thanks to the Congress. PC Thomas a man known for his connections in the Christian community has contested from Kottayam. It is the number of votes he gets that matters in this election. If it crosses one lakh thirty thousand, the CPM will wrest the constituency. The same can be said about Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram. Kummanam Rajasekharan, Kottayam born and a former Governor, is contesting in the much noted Thiruvananthapuram. It is the same for many other constituencies. At any rate I think, the BJP winning one or two seats in Kerala will remain a pipedream.

The BJP may not win a seat in Kerala because the CPM and Congress workers will vote for one among them. The BJP will be the loser. Let it be so.