KERALA

No vote against government: VS

Special Correspondent

‘Public opinion is in its favour’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said here on Saturday that the Third Front could not fare well in the Lok Sabha elections, as its formation was neither complete nor stable.

Reacting to the election results, the Chief Minister said the Third Front had not achieved proper form, and this had affected its prospects. The wavering character of the non-Left constituents of the Third Front also affected its prospects.

Mr. Achuthanandan admitted that the Left had suffered heavy setback in Kerala and West Bengal. However, the results were not a verdict against the Left government in the State. Assessments showed that the public opinion was in favour of the State government’s policies. Hence, a victory not far behind that in the previous elections was expected. For some reasons, that did not happen. The reasons need to be studied in detail before commenting further on the results, he said.

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Central Committee will meet on May 18 and 19 to discuss the election results. This will be followed by meetings of the State committee and the State secretariat. These meetings will analyse the results. Lessons would be learned from the defeat and steps taken to strengthen the Left Democratic Front, he said.

Mr. Achuthanandan said it was a consolation that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), “which symbolised majority communalism,” had been defeated. At the same time, it was disappointing that a United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that “pursued anti-poor economic policies and pro-American policies had been re-elected.”

Asked who was responsible for the LDF’s defeat in the State, the Chief Minister said the Polit Bureau and the Secretariat would discuss the issue. Asked whether the verdict was in favour of any of the issues raised by him, Mr. Achuthanandan said it would have to be examined.

In a statement issued after the results were known, the CPI(M) State secretariat said though the election results in a way reflected the trend seen nationally, the party viewed with seriousness the fact that it had not received the votes that normally accrued to it. The party would examine at all levels how such a situation came about in a State like Kerala and would strive to work in tune with the aspirations of the masses who stood by it. The CPI(M) and the LDF would also make appropriate corrections in their working in the light of the poll outcome, the party secretariat said.

Veliyam’s stance

Although reporters approached CPI State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan for his reaction to the election outcome, he would only say that that matter deserved detailed study. The general verdict, he said, was against the BJP. The people had voted overwhelmingly for the Congress in the country, as they probably believed that the Congress would be able to take on the BJP more effectively at the national level, he added.

In a statement, RSP State secretary V.P. Ramakrishna Pillai said the LDF suffered defeat on account of disunity in the alliance.

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