CM's 'arrogance', 'communal appeasement' caused LDF's collapse in LS polls, say Congress, BJP

The Congress and the BJP on Friday said the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala has failed to properly assess the party-led LDF's collapse in the Lok Sabha polls in the state. While the Congress blamed it on the "CM's arrogance" among various factors, the BJP claimed the reason was "communal appeasement".
CM's 'arrogance', 'communal appeasement' caused LDF's collapse in LS polls, say Congress, BJP
CM's 'arrogance', 'communal appeasement' caused LDF's collapse in LS polls, say Congress, BJP

Thiruvananthapuram/Palakkad | The Congress and the BJP on Friday said the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala has failed to properly assess the party-led LDF's collapse in the Lok Sabha polls in the state. While the Congress blamed it on the "CM's arrogance" among various factors, the BJP claimed the reason was "communal appeasement".

The opposition parties were reacting separately to CPI(M) State Secretary M V Govindan's statement a day earlier, which claimed that the "unholy alliance" of the UDF and its ally IUML with Islamist outfits, along with the communal divide created by the BJP, were some of the major reasons for the LDF's defeat in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Kerala.

The CPI(M)-led LDF won just a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls out of the 20 in Kerala.

In a statement, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran targeted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, calling him "a ghost guarding the skeleton of a party that has lost its soul" and alleged that those leading the CPI(M) "pretended not to see the rotting of it and its leaders in the administration".

On Thursday after the meeting of the CPI(M) state committee and state secretariat, Govindan said that the party had conducted a comprehensive analysis of the factors contributing to the defeat of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the Lok Sabha polls.

Reacting to it, Sudhakaran said a "rectification campaign" was done to protect Vijayan without addressing the real reasons behind the Left Front's failure in the Lok Sabha elections.

Sudhakaran said that if the CPI(M) wants to avoid a repeat of what happened in West Bengal and Tripura -- referring to the major decline of the party in those states -- a genuine correction process should be initiated, starting with Vijayan, who is also a veteran Marxist leader.

Launching a scathing attack on Vijayan, the senior Congress leader alleged that Govindan guarded Vijayan without considering the reported assessment of its ally CPI's district-level evaluations that the style of functioning of the chief minister was the cause of the LDF's miserable defeat.

"It was said that the cause of failure would be investigated, but as usual, the Centre (central government) and some organisations and groups were blamed. The real reason for the defeat was the chief minister's arrogance, corruption, extravagance, foreign trips, disdain for the people, etc, but the party secretary kept it from discussion," Sudhakaran alleged.

He said only the CPI(M) does not see the bomb-making and bomb blasts going on in its strongholds.

"Even women who stand against it are threatened. The CPI(M) is unable to listen to the cries of people like veterinary student Siddharthan who lost his life in an attack by SFI goons," Sudhakaran alleged.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Palakkad, BJP state chief K Surendran claimed that the cause of the complete collapse of the LDF in the Lok Sabha polls was the "excessive communal appeasement" done by Vijayan and the CPI(M).

He termed as "provocative" Govindan's remark that the BJP got SNDP and Christian votes, alleging that this was an attempt to justify the CPI(M)'s terrible defeat and was not aligned with reality.

He alleged that the Marxist party reached a state of self-destruction by appeasing communalist forces.

"Govindan is targeting Hindu (and) Christian organisations," Surendran said, adding, "The organisations that voted for BJP will be protected." The BJP leader alleged that Govindan made provocative remarks against SNDP Yogam General Secretary Vellapally Natesan and questioned why he did not evaluate how the Muslims voted in the elections.

"The reason why the UDF candidates got such a large majority in Kozhikode and Alappuzha constituencies was because the Muslim comrades in the CPI(M) voted for the UDF. Despite the Muslim appeasement, the Muslims in the CPI(M) supported the Congress-led UDF. Govindan is keeping silent on it," he said.

In his press conference on Thursday, Govindan had claimed that the BJP was able to create a communal divide among the voters belonging to caste-based organisations such as the SNDP Yogam as well as the Christian community, which helped the saffron party to make gains in the state and win the Thrissur LS seat.

Govindan was referring to the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an NDA ally, which is headed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam leader Natesan's son Thushar Vellappally.

The SNDP Yogam represents the numerically strong Hindu Ezhava community, which has traditionally been a strong vote bank of the Left front.

"Due to the communal divide created by the BJP among the caste organisations, the LDF lost a section of votes from there," Govindan had said.

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