Pro-people policies and power of youth yield the Left: an emphatic victory in the Indian state of Kerala

Muhammed Shabeer writes about the recent wins of the CPI (Marxist) in Kerala despite smear attempts by the likes of the fascist BJP Party

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) – led by Communist Party of India (Marxist) – has gained an emphatic victory in elections to the local governance bodies held in December 2020, in the South in the state of Kerala.

The left has won 5 out 6 six Corporation Councils, 43 out of 86 Municipal Councils, 11 out of 14 district panchayats, 108 block panchayats out of 152 and 577 grama panchayats out of 941,  by thoroughly defeating the United Democratic Front(UDF) led by the Indian National Congress(INC) and National Democatic Alliance(NDA) led by the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP).

The left has secured such a victory by defeating a vicious disinformation campaign by the UDF and its supporting media and the polarising campaigns by the hindutva fascist BJP which is leading the far-right Central Government in India. 

The major factor which contributed to the left’s victory is the popular policies of the incumbent LDF  government in Kerala led by CPI(M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan.

The majority of people across  the state entrusted their confidence in the government which steadfastly led them and helped to survive two massive floods and also protected the lives and livelihoods during the Nipah virus outbreak and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The Kerala state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 has received many acclaims from around the world.

The incumbent left led state government has also made huge investments in public health, public schools and infrastructure development. The state has been providing monthly free food kits to all the families across the state through ration shops to ensure food security, during the period of crisis. State has been also providing social security pensions to millions of elderly people across the state ensuring that no one is left alone in these difficult times.

The state has made history by  constructing and handing over more than tho hundred thousands houses for the homeless people in the state through its flagship project called LIFE  Mission. Many of such popular policies of the left front government has  helped the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front to defeat the  lies, slanders and divisive campaigns by the opportunist UDF and the fascist BJP.

Another factor which has paved way for the successes of the left is the unity and the expansion of the left front along with its strong cadre base. CPI(M) and its mass fronts including the Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI) has lost lives of its six cadres in different  murderous attacks by the goons from congress party, bjp and the muslim league during the last five months.

CPI(M) and DYFI has been in the forefront in resisting the religious fanaticism of the Hindutva forces of BJP and the islamist fanatics . Braving attacks from all such groups, tens of thousands of volunteers from DYFI have been tirelessly working across the state assisting the state’s fight against COVID-19. DYFI itself has launched a series of social solidarity initiatives and also raised 1.4 million USD through its recycle Kerala Initiative and contributed to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

Here, in the local body elections, the left has put thousands of its young cadres from the youth front DYFI and its students front; the Students Federation of India(SFI) as candidates. Majority of those young candidates have won those seats, even in the strongholds of congress and the right wing groups. In previous elections too left has given a good number of seats for the youth and the CPI(M) led state government in 2009 has legally reserved  50% of seats for women in the local governance councils .

This time the left has made the youth candidatures as a highlight of their election campaign; the #NewGenLeft which had yielded astonishing results for the left front. The young candidates not only retained the left’s traditional seats but  also wrested congress strongholds and resisted the vicious campaign by BJP for power in places including the Trivandrum corporation, the capital city of Kerala.

The left has not only given seats to youth but also put many young cadres as the presidents, chairpersons, and mayors of hundreds of panchayats, municipalities and city corporations in the state. Twentyone year old Arya Rajendran- SFI member and the state leader of the leftist young pioneer group: Balasangham got elected as the Mayor of Trivandrum City Corporation. Another 21 year old, Reshma Mariam Roy has become president of Aruvappulam Grama Panchayath and become the youngest panchayat president in the country. The left has put several other young cadres from SFI and DYFI along with popular and experienced cadres from the CPI(M) at the helm of local bodies across Kerala.

Such an emphatic victory – powered by the youth and  popular policies – for the left  gives much confidence for the communist government in the state of Kerala to face the upcoming elections to the  legislative assembly scheduled for May 2021. A re-election of the leftist government in Kerala is desired by the majority of the people in Kerala and the progressive sections in India.

The Left in Kerala has shown the way for the progessive section in the country to resist the corporate driven anti-people, divisive politics of the hindutva fascist led central government. The left government in Kerala has shown how to protect the lives and livelihoods of people in the wake of any disasters and pandemics. Here, the Left is carrying out a mission to ensure a life with dignity for all the people in the state. Here, the  Left is bound to win.

Muhammed Shabeer, is a member of the CPI (Marxist) and writer for Peoples Dispatch

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