The left would gain support from minorities in the coming polls, says CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran. The party will bring out its candidate list by March first week, says Kanam in an interview with Express, ahead of his political yathra this week.
Q: How do you assess the current political scenario?
A: There’s a major sentiment against Narendra Modi across the country. Almost all political parties, even those within the NDA, are unhappy with Modi rule. How effectively this scenario can be converted to an electoral advantage, is the only thing that now stands in the way of the Modi government’s downfall. In case of a direct fight in around 400 LS constituencies, BJP’s defeat is ensured. All Opposition parties should work together towards this goal.
Today, regional parties are well placed to make crucial interventions. But without a strong national political base, regional parties are more open to a compromise with certain policies. It’s a complex scenario.
Q: What’ll be the role played by CPI?
A: We have never contested as part of a political alliance at the national level. Of course, there have been electoral understandings, but only at the state level. This time too, the CPI will opt for flexible electoral tactics. Talks are currently on in different states.
Q: What is the assessment on Kerala?
A: The Left will gain an upper hand in Kerala. Pre-poll surveys have no factual backing. Not only will the LDF win a majority of seats, this election will also mark UDF’s destruction. BJP will not be able to open its account this time too.
Q: How would the Sabarimala issue impact the Left in Kerala?
A: People have realised that this government is committed to upholding the Constitutional values. Only a section of people mistakenly thought we would compromise on such issues.
An attempt to create a divide between believers and others in what P S Sreedharan Pillai termed a ‘golden opportunity’ failed. A majority of those who vote for the Left are believers. By opposing this divide and rule policy of the BJP, this government also gained major acceptance among minorities, dalits and backward communities.
Q: How will caste and community equations reflect in the polls? Will the NSS stance prove to be a setback?
A: Last time the UDF tried to appease various communities, but failed. The NSS has people from all political parties. We have never tried to take over NSS. But for RSS, this stance could create a favorable situation. It’s for the NSS itself to realise this threat. Instead of focussing only on one particular community, the Left will focus on things that are generally beneficial to the society as a whole.
Q: Seat division within the LDF is about to begin. With new entrants, what’ll be the approach?
A: A decision on those matters will be taken after the LDF meet on Monday. None of the new entrants have put forth this as a pre-condition. If there are demands from any of the parties, we’ll take a collective call. Winnability is the most important factor. We’ll give special consideration for women, dalits and minorities.
Q: By when will CPI finalise its candidates?
A: We want to positively publish the list of our candidates by March 7.
Q: Are there any move to mutually exchange seats with any party?
A: Nothing. The CPI has already begun election preparation in constituencies where we are contesting.