Fearful LDF, cheerless UDF

via By Manoj K Das @ www.expressbuzz.com published on April 14, 2009

The news this Vishu dawn is definitely not good for the LDF. If Kerala decides to seek vengeance through the ballot for its all-round inertia, the LDF will taste a bitter mandate this time.

Add to this the deepening divide between the CPM and the CPI with both gearing up to teach each other a lesson; the disgruntled cadres of the Janata Dal (Veerendra Kumar) who can turn the tide in the sure seats of Alathur and Palakkad; the VS factor and his fan clubs headed by Chandrasekharan in Vadakara and M R Murali in Palakkad; and there is a long list of Left worries.

But no UDF leader with an iota of self-esteem would dare claim credit for a possible victory in a majority of seats as it would not reflect any new-found confidence in the Front’s leadership, either at the Centre or in the State.

This is quite evident from the fact that Kerala has never seen such a weak and lowdecibel run-up.

Except in party pockets, none of the candidates succeeded in creating any ripples.

This frustration is prompting Kerala to invest confidence in alternatives like K Muraleedharan, Neelalohithadasan Nadar and K Surendran, wave-makers in the constituencies of Wayanad, Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod, signalling the emergence of the new political thought.

The voter mood is similar to the general feel that prevailed during the pre-poll days in 2004 when revulsion for the infighting in Congress sparked an allergy in the Kerala psyche; today they hate Pinarayi Vijayan and V S Achuthanandan as they hated K Karunakaran and A K Antony then.

And if this anger, definitely not anti-incumbency, translates into negative votes, the LDF will face the ditto fate that the UDF was slapped with five years ago.

This is one reason why the ‘Express’ feels that the voter is with the UDF in the constituencies of Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Mavelikkara, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Chalakkudy, Thrissur and Vadakara.

The UDF strongholds of Ernakulam and Malappuram are also likely to survive the initial scare. But the UDF will have only itself to blame if it fails to clinch Kollam (where the CPI-RSP is against the CPM), Palakkad (the VS factor against the CPM) and Kozhikode (the JD factor against the CPM).

The LDF, its poll managers say, is looking forward to retaining Kollam, Attingal, Alathur and Kasargod. The LDF can still effect a reverse swing in Palakkad, Kannur and Kozhikode. But both — retaining existing seats and reversing the swing in the rest — will be extremely difficult for obvious reasons.

Like Ernakulam, Wayanad is giving some worries to the UDF. The latest from the rumour mill is a quid pro quo between Murali’s NCP and the CPM to ensure mutual victory in Wayanad and Kozhikode.

Like Rahmathulla in Wayanad, all the CPI candidates are set to bite the dust, thanks to minimum support from the big brother.

But the CPM’s M-card in Ponnani won’ t see Randathani leaving for Delhi.

IUML’s E T Mohammed Basheer has a definite edge.

The red party’s bid has helped to create a new political greeting: Lal salamu-alaikkum.

The results, which will give the UDF 14 to 16 seats, will leave Kerala with a few points to ponder, including the role of the middle-class, the poor organisational machinery of the Congress and the pathetic ideological crisis in the LDF, especially in the CPM which has unashamedly ignored graft charges, embraced communal leaders and displayed political opportunism by knocking at the doors of Madhani, Mayawati and the Biju Janata Dal.

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