Kochi: Manorama News Conclave 2023 saw an exhilarating and engaging political debate on the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2024, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) and more as CPM state secretary MV Govindan and Kerala's Opposition leader V D Satheesan shared their thoughts on ‘2024 and the ‘state’ of Kerala’.
Though the chat, moderated by News Director of Manorama News Johny Lukose, took off on a lighter note, with both the leaders trying to say ‘something nice’ to each other, it transformed into a fiery exchange as the debate progressed.
“What has Congress got to say about CPM? Let him answer and then I will reply,” said Govindan while discussing the Opposition alliance and its priorities, and Satheesan said, “CPM has a strong understanding with the BJP. Why else is the SNC Lavlin case getting delayed every time? Because their common enemy is Congress.”
Satheesan also went on to say that in the fight against BJP, CPM is ‘irrelevant', as its presence is limited to Kerala. “Despite being a party that ruled the country for decades, Congress is struggling. Be it in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, UP, Bihar and more, where are they doing well?” countered Govindan.
Both the leaders are known for their secular stands, but when asked whether they can ever speak their minds while addressing matters of beliefs and religious institutions, Govindan said it is possible and explained. “Caste, religion, belief and the like are part of our society and any of us denying its existence doesn’t do anything. Not all believers are fanatics and they can be stopped only by both believers and others coming together. A good politician should understand the same and address issues,” he said.
Satheesan said, “I am a believer but have a scientific temper as well. Think of the ISRO chief’s temple visit after Chandrayaan. But, unlike in the past, we should not allow the priesthood to control us completely, that’s all.”
At a time when the Women’s Reservation Bill is discussed widely, will LDF give more seats to women in the coming election? Govindan said the bill is BJP’s gimmick to win women’s votes and explained that its provisions will be implemented only in elections post-2024. While he also claimed that CPM is the party that gives maximum seats to women, Satheesan said Congress hasn’t had enough women representatives and he has no intention of justifying it. “This Women’s Reservation bill is brought out in such a way that it can’t be implemented even in 2029. Whether there is a bill or not, political parties should give more seats to women, and we will rectify our mistakes as far as this is concerned,” said the Opposition leader.