THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ever since Oommen Chandy came out with a public remark, the Left in Kerala has been campaigning against Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the first to come out against the move stating that it would send out a wrong message at a time when secular and democratic forces are fighting against Sangh Parivar.
Even as speculations were going on about Rahul’s candidature, the LDF leadership kept on coming out with open statements against the move. It went to such an extent that KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran, in an apparent reference to the CPM, commented that some political parties in Delhi are trying to block Rahul’s entry.
Given this backdrop, the LDF is clearly upset over Rahul’s decision to contest from Kerala. Not only Pinarayi, but most of the senior Left leaders, including CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and CPI state chief Kanam Rajendran, came out criticising the move. The Congress has been projecting the Left front as its main opponent instead of the BJP. That is why the AICC chief is contesting from here, they said. “The minorities have lost their confidence in the UDF. The Congress has been riding on the Muslim League’s power in Malabar. Once Rahul contests as the UDF candidate with the support of SDPI and Jamaat e Islami, it will be a setback in North India,” said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
“With this move, the Congress is trying to upset the nation-wide movement against the BJP and Sangh Parivar. By contesting against the Left, Rahul is, in fact, standing with the corporates,” said LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan. The Congress should make clear who is its main opponent - the LDF or the BJP, said CPI state chief Kanam Rajendran.
With an upbeat UDF looking to sweep the polls riding on the Rahul wave, the Left has begun strategising to counter the same. With the Congress planning to cash in on the minority vote bank in north Kerala, the Left would be keen on winning the confidence of minorities.