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Opinion | Kerala Politics and the Hypocrisy of I.N.D.I.A. Alliance – News18

The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.), comprising various political parties with the Congress at the Centre, was established with the objective of challenging Narendra Modi’s BJP, a goal that the Opposition has been nurturing for the past decade but has failed to achieve so far. Rarely in the history of India have we witnessed a political coalition as inorganic and unnatural as the present alliance.

The participating parties have conflicting ideologies, and each of their leaders fosters personal aspirations for the prime ministerial role. Yet, they seem to have found common ground in a shared set of interests that can be categorised as A.B.C.D.: Appeasement, Bigotry, Corruption, and Dynastic politics. Today, with I.N.D.I.A., the Opposition is only trying to strengthen its A.B.C.D. agenda rather than upholding Indian democracy.

The I.N.D.I.A. alliance is the combination of several parties in the country, including Congress, Samajwadi Party, DMK, etc. The CPM is also part of the alliance. Both Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPM, and Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader, have had meetings and discussions on how the alliance should operate. The CPM, a party that is struggling to hold on to its national party status, is in power only in Kerala and has a minor presence in West Bengal and Tripura.

In such a sorry state of affairs, it is important to look at what is happening in Kerala, which has found itself in an unnatural situation. It is currently ruled by the Left Democratic Front (LDF), with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the helm. In 2016, this alliance came to power by defeating the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). Following the 2021 Assembly election, the LDF was able to continue its rule in the state. During this time, the NDA, led by the BJP, made huge strides and emerged as the third-largest political entity in Kerala.

It is here that the situation takes an interesting turn. Making an absolute mockery of democratic principles, the CPM and Congress are alliance partners at the national level, but in Kerala they are foes. This peculiar arrangement raises questions about the authenticity of the alliance and reveals its hollowness. In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, for which the alliance was forged and where the CPM holds stronger prospects, both the Congress and CPM are set to contest against each other.

The partners at the national level are already gearing up for the important by-election that is set to take place in the Puthuppally assembly constituency following the death of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Both Congress and the CPM have fielded their respective candidates, who are now fighting against each other. If the I.N.D.I.A. alliance had any merit, they should have fielded a single candidate and fought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, the BJP. This is the best example that the I.N.D.I.A. alliance is a farce.

The election is also an exposition of the A.B.C.D. objective of this alliance. Congress candidate Chandy Oommen is the son of former chief minister Oommen Chandy, the very example of the dynasty model of politics that the Congress adheres to. Interestingly, CPM has chosen to remain silent on this matter.

Moreover, a couple of weeks ago, the alliance’s shared interest in corruption was also exposed. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan was found to be on an illegal payroll of a firm. A report of the Interim Board for Settlement under the Central Board of Taxes regarding a settlement application filed by Kochi-based Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) refers to ‘illegal payments’ to the tune of Rs 1.72 crore made to her. Veena, who is also the wife of Kerala PWD Minister Mohammed Riyas, has been embroiled in numerous instances of corruption in recent years.

Some time back, Swapna Suresh, one of the key accused, named Veena Vijayan in another scam. Both the public and the media anticipated that the opposition would address this matter in the assembly and bring it to public attention. However, they chose not to take up this issue. Similarly, now that her name has surfaced in the monthly payroll, the Congress party has made an official announcement that they will not raise the issue in the assembly.

The firm also exposed the names of the other recipients who were on the illegal payroll. These names were abbreviated as PV, OC, RC, KK, IK, and AG in the documents seized by the Income Tax Department, as stated in the report. When expanding upon the aforementioned abbreviations, it appears to be chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Congress leaders Oomen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, Muslim League leaders Kunhalikkutty and Ibrahim Kunju, and CPM state secretary A Govindan. So, it becomes apparent that Congress, another partner in the I.N.D.I.A. alliance, the Muslim League, and the CPM are all part of the nexus that runs the corruption syndicate in Kerala.

Now turning to the ‘Appeasement’ aspect. A recent incident involved Kerala assembly speaker Shamseer insulting Lord Ganesh, a matter that was echoed by CPM secretary Govindan. Adding to this, Govindan said that Allah is a spiritual belief, and Ganesh cannot be compared to it. The hatred of Left parties towards Hindus and Hindu beliefs is well known. But more precarious is the hatred shown by the Congress and UDF, which did not oppose the insult perpetrated by the CPM.

It is evident that the I.N.D.I.A. alliance in Kerala is an association for appeasement of a single community while they make concerted efforts to push Hindus and Christians to the wall. Recently, the partner of Congress in UDF and partner of both Congress and CPM in I.N.D.I.A., the Muslim League, conducted a rally in which it shouted, “Hindus will be hanged on temple gates and burnt alive.” Neither CPM nor Congress uttered a word. Earlier, the Popular Front of India (PFI) shouted similar slogans, “Arrange rice flakes (for Hindu funeral rituals).. arrange amber (for Christian rituals).. Hindus and Christians prepare for your funerals.” Even at that time, none of them spoke a word. But when the Bishop of Pala Joseph Kalarangatt warned the community about Love Jihad and Narcotic Jihad, both Congress and Left pounced upon him.

When the Kerala governor opposed the illegal appointment of vice chancellors of nine state universities flouting rules by the state government, then the Congress and CPM came together in bringing an ordinance against this. In all similar scams, they scratch each other’s back.

Despite being the majority in the state, the government and its major parties insult Hindu culture and beliefs publicly without any hesitation. They use every opportunity to degrade the beliefs of both Hindus and Christians in order to appease one captive vote bank.

To align with their agenda and interests, the Congress and CPM stand united. However, when it comes to fighting elections together in Kerala, they do not seem to be on the same page. This raises questions about the relevance of their alliance.

The author is former national secretary of BJP youth wing. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views.

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