Vote trading allegations are an admission of defeat, says Chandy

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Vote trading allegations are an admission of defeat, says Chandy

Trivandrum - Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has rubbished the CPM allegation saying it was an admission of defeat by the party ahead of the elections.

By TK Devasia

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2016, 3:35 PM

Allegations regarding vote trading come up during every election in Kerala. It has come to the fore in the current election too with Communist Party of India (Maxist) alleging secret pacts between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in several constituencies.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has come out with the allegation citing weak candidates fielded by the Congress and some of its allies in some seats where the BJP is strong. He has pointed out Nemom as a glaring example.
Balakrishnan alleges that the Congress had allotted the seat where the BJP came second in the last election to the Janata Dal (Secular) as part of the secret pact. Nemom was won by the Congress by more than 10,000 votes in 2006.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has rubbished the CPM allegation saying it was an admission of defeat by the party ahead of the elections.
"The CPM effort is trying to find reason for their impending defeat by blaming UDF of forging alliance with BJP. If the party was sincere in its fight against the communal forces, the party would have joined the alliance in Bihar. Instead, it has helped the BJP by splitting the anti-BJP votes in the northern state," he added.
However, many in the UDF believe the allegation is part of a clever ploy by the CPM to divide the minority votes. Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) general secretary E.T. Mohammed Basheer feels the charge was intended to turn the minorities against the UDF.
"The CPM is trying to project itself as the protector of the minorities. This will not succeed as the people are aware that the Left parties do not have the strength to take on the fascist forces at the national level," says Basheer, who represent Ponnani in the Lok Sabha.
He said the Muslims were enlightened enough to believe that the only party that can challenge the Sangh Parivar throughout the country is the Congress. They will strengthen the national party by voting the UDF to power in the assembly elections in the state," he added.
Political observers have also taken the allegation with a pinch of salt since the BJP's attempt this time is to increase its vote share in the coming election so that they can claim the third slot in the state politics.
N.M. Pearson, a political commentator, feels the CPM may be trying to woo the minority votes by creating a fear in their minds as it was expecting a division in its traditional Ezhava vote bank following the entry of the community's new political outfit into the electoral fray as an ally of the BJP. The CPM is apparently trying to offset the loss with the minority votes.
The move is considered significant since swings in minority votes had a major impact on the outcome in the assembly elections in the past. In fact, the LDF came to power in 2006 with 98 seats in the 140-member assembly following a major swing in the Muslim and Christian votes in its favour.
The IUML and various factions of the Kerala Congress which champion the interests of Muslims and Christians, respectively had lost 11 seats in the Muslim and Christian belts in 2006 compared to the 2001 election. While the IUML tally came down from 16 in 2001 to nine in 2006, the Kerala Congress lost four seats.
The minority votes that stood firmly behind the UDF earlier have been showing cyclical swings in the last two decades. Political analysts expect a swing in favour of the LDF this time. The gain the opposition made in Malappuram and Central Travancore in the local body polls is seen as an indication of this. The LDF is trying to consolidate the position by playing up the threats posed to them by the emergence of the BJP in the state.
news@khaleejtimes.com


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