Analysis | Why Kerala was 'Left' out

Analysis | Why Kerala was 'Left' out

Two things are becoming clear - Modi is poised to form the government at the centre again and Kerala will continue to flaunt its anti-BJP stance. Even as the United Democratic Front (UDF) emerges strong in Kerala leaving no room for BJP, the LDF seems to have been decimated.

The exit polls were more optimistic about the LDF's prospects.

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had claimed that LDF will win 18 seats out of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala. While this obviously sounds far fetched, even the exit polls predicted victory in at least four seats for the LDF. Some others were marked as photo finish. So what went so wrong for the LDF? Several factors played out behind this rout. No doubt, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stood out as a strong figure who could not only keep communalists away but also implement difficult policy decisions. Whether it was dealing with floods or the Sabarimala row, the government did provide what was expected out of it. However, what was missing was a political tact.

Pinarayi's stubborn stance was seen as a mirror image of the arrogance of the LDF leaders.

Instances of the chief minister loosing his cool at the media and manhandling of Jishnu Pranoy's mother for attempting to protest in front of the police headquarters created an impression that the government was getting a high on power. The CPM's not so covert association with political violence in the state also affected the LDF.

Analysis | Why Kerala was 'Left' out

The murder of Youth Congress workers Sharathlal and Kripesh in Periya just ahead of polls was a huge blow for the LDF. The main campaign strategy for Congress during this election was political violence.

This was extensively used by K Muraleedharan in Vadakkara, K Sudhakaran in Kannur and Rajmohan Unnithan in Kasaragod. UDF could make huge gains because the anger towards the left had to be directed in some other direction.

Analysis | Why Kerala was 'Left' out
Slain Youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sharathlal

The BJP was never an option for Keralites. Hence, all the votes of disenchantment went to the UDF kitty.

Whether the BJP had gained in the polls needs to be quantified, but this was a chance for a shot at electing a BJP lawmaker from Kerala.

This has probably slipped away.

Analysis | Why Kerala was 'Left' out
When Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visited Kerala.

The perception that even if the Left candidates are voted to the Lok Sabha they will be supporting the Congress in the Parliament also gained traction.

The Left will always use it as a political bargaining chip only.

Party president Rahul's candidature from Wayanad has also swayed voters.

All this gave a psychological upper hand to the Congress-led UDF. The voters perhaps saw a future prime minister in Rahul.

Meanwhile, the LDF has to rework on its connect with the masses and work with more humility.

That is the only way to even cherish the hope of coming back to power.

Else, it would go the West Bengal way.

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