THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP operates like a Rakshasa Sena. It can never occupy a political space in Kerala. The CPM aligning with the Congress will advantage BJP, says CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in a chat with ‘Express’ ahead of the LDF’s Jana Jagratha Yatras from Saturday.
Q: Is the Jana Jagratha Yatra a counter campaign against the BJP’s just-concluded Jana Raksha Yatra?
A: Under the Centre’s cover, the BJP is trying to eliminate the CPM in Kerala. They launched their yatra with 12 Union Ministers, four Chief Ministers and several other ministers as part of a campaign to spread their ideology. It was aimed at shattering the secular base, presumably to create so-called awareness among the masses and caution them. The Opposition UDF too stands exposed with the Solar report a direct reflection of the previous corrupt regime.
The LDF has taken a strong stance against corruption while the BJP Government is steeped in major corruption charges. Ironically, the BJP came to power riding on its anti-corruption slogan. Now, just look at the allegations against Amit Shah’s son.
Earlier, when BJP leaders were accused of corruption, they kept away from party positions. L K Advani chose to stay away amidst hawala charges. Same with Bangaru Laxman. But in Shah’s son’s case, there’s a volte-face. Modi had announced a war against counterfeit currency. These are the basis of our political campaign. Also, we plan to bring the LDF Government’s achievements to the masses. We propose comprehensive development based on social justice. The decision to appoint non-Brahmin priests in temples has been widely appreciated across the country.
Q: The CPM has been steadily opposing the BJP Yatra. Was the CPM afraid the saffron party would gain undue mileage, especially in the wake of the Congress reeling under the Solar scam?
A: The Jana Raksha Yatra evoked no response in Kerala. Vengara was its test case. Of the 34,000 Hindu votes there, the BJP garnered only 5,000 votes. This is due to intense campaigning by the CPM. Had we opted to be quiet during the Yatra, it would have led to another Gujarat. See what happened in Karnataka a decade ago.
They wanted to go for a similar experiment in Kerala. Take the case of Uttar Pradesh. In each state, they adopt a specific strategy. They operate like a ‘Rakshasa Sena’ (an army of demons). They will do whatever it takes to spread terror in the minds of people.
Q: Post Solar report, the UDF is facing a setback while the BJP has just concluded its state march. Do you think the BJP can occupy the political space of Opposition parties in the long run?
A: The BJP has no such space here. Both the UDF and the BJP are weakening while the Left is consolidating its position. Only the Left can take on the RSS challenge in the state. Secular-minded people know that. Many UDF leaders dilly-dally when it comes to taking on the BJP upfront. The Vengara UDF candidate even sought to portray Modi as better than the Communists.
Q: One of the major issues being debated within the CPM now is about a common platform of secular parties including the Congress. But the Kerala CPM does not seem to be interested.
A: The CPM is not against a common platform against communalism. But when it comes to a political platform, it can only be parties with similar ideologies.
Unification of secular forces and an alternative economic policy will usher in a political change. The Left hopes for a political polarisation through the coming together of non-Congress secular parties. It won’t happen in a day.