One should have clarity in looking at the importance of these elections.
Veteran CPI(M) leader V.S. Achuthanandan, on whose shoulders the mantle of leading the LDF campaign in the Lok Sabha elections will undoubtedly fall in Kerala, notes that “one should have clarity in looking at the importance of these elections” for the country as a whole and also Kerala.
Where has the country reached under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation at the Centre? Who are the contenders to form the next government? What are their track records; what can one expect if they were to come to power? He refused to be “distracted from the significance of these elections by any non-issue” in this interview given to our Special Correspondent.
Question: As you begin the campaign, what are the issues you see the LDF would place before the voters?
Answer: The issue simply is where has the country reached under the UPA dispensation. During the time of the first UPA government [in which the Left supported the Congress-led government from outside], there was a constant check on the anti-people inclinations of the Congress. The sell-out was not possible. During the five years of the second UPA government, we saw unprecedented scale of corruption — running to lakhs and lakhs of rupees. All policies were directed to help the big corporate companies and multinationals at the expense of the common man. Oil prices are fixed to help the big companies. Prices of all essential commodities have gone up. How will the common man survive? You can see the fundamental character of this government that is not for the poor in all policy initiatives — ask the government employees, pensioners, and organised working class. If even the organised working class should thus be pushed out into the backyard, you can imagine the plight of the unorganised. The Oommen Chandy government in the State is a replica of the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre — it has all the anti-people tendencies one sees at the Centre.
Q: The BJP is a contender at the Centre, isn’t it?
A: The voters know the track-record of Narendra Modi’s BJP and the Sangh Parivar. The Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin — they are not for the common man. Four of the Left parties, including our party, are leading a move to bring together secular parties on a broad platform presenting a credible alternative. There are 11 parties on this platform. The duty of the LDF in Kerala is to ensure that it sends to the Lok Sabha maximum number of MPs to strengthen this platform.
Q: What have you to say about the RSP incident?
A: The battle lines are drawn. Candidates have been decided for all constituencies. One should not be distracted from the main issue, which is to strengthen the platform four Left parties [including the RSP] have formed at the national level, a platform on which there are 11 parties.