The SJ(D) was unhappy with Pinarayi Vijayan’s extreme authoritarian style of functioning
For the Socialist Janata (Democratic), this election is a fight against twin dangers: the ‘murder politics’ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which heads the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, and the ‘communal agenda’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, says SJ(D) president and United Democratic Front candidate in Palakkad M.P. Veerendrakumar. Excerpts from an interview.
Question: What are the main issues that your party is projecting this election, both at the national and State levels?
Answer: At the national level it is important to resist the Hindutva ideology as propagated by Mr. Modi. Indian society and its existence are basically multicultural and they need to be preserved. Mr. Modi supported Godhra rioters and showed laxity in controlling violence. The victims of the riots, belonging to a minority community, continue to suffer. Our task is to ensure that we have an India intact.
Q: What is the main ideological crisis your party is facing after ending its three decades-long association with the LDF?
A: We had no ideological crisis when we left LDF. It was not because we differed in an electoral bargaining. We found that the CPI(M) was drifting away from Left ideologies and democratic functioning and losing a sense of co-existence. We firmly believe in upholding democratic values. So we do not regret walking out of the LDF. The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) also walked out of the front for the same reason and a few more may quit any time.
Q. It is felt that more than ideological differences, it was the way your party was treated by CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan which resulted in the SJ(D) breaking away from the LDF?
A: The SJ(D) was unhappy with Mr. Vijayan’s extreme authoritarian style of functioning. On most occasions, he permitted no discussion on various issues within the LDF. He thrust his decisions on others, sometimes even without the consent of his party leaders. He was terrorising LDF partners and even his own cadres. It was more than we could tolerate. Our sitting seat was taken away without having a discussion. We were offered another seat. But at the next LDF meeting, we were informed that that seat too was being taken away. Thus it was a symbolic way of ‘kicking us out’ of the front.
Q: Do you think T.P. Chandrasekharan murder will have an impact in this election?
A: The T.P. murder case has virtually rocked the foundation of the CPI(M) in Kerala. It is now established that the CPI(M) has close links with the ‘killer mafia’ and has exposed its inability to take on political rivals on ideological grounds. It is a huge fall. It is time the CPI(M) shed its political arrogance and intolerance and introspect.