Is BJP ready to take the political central Stage in Kerala?

via Nshyam @Hindutva Hot Topics published on March 2, 2006

 





Today BJP of Kerala is currently in a unique situation to reshape the political map of Kerala forever and possibily come to power with in a decade. The time is ripe for BJP to snatch the political center stage from congress to make itself in to prominent political force in Kerala. If we let this historic opportunity slip through Kerala Hindu will remain shackled for ages to come. I hope the current BJP central leadership will take control and guide Kerala unit through this historic opportunity.

Back-ground to current political climate of Kerala


1)        Strong Anti-incumbency factor- An alliance with Congress in Kerala at this time is like alliance with RJD of Bihar. Corruption, inefficiency, group fighting and lack of leadership with in congress has reduced it to a pathetic state. Even the most respected congress leader Mr. A. K. Anthony has been disgraced.


2)        Pinaray Vijayan, the most influential CPM leader of Kerala has been making every move necessary not to defeat congress in Kerala but to decimate it. If not skillfully handled Kerala might end up with West Bengal like situation for the next 10 to 15 years. This presents BJP with a unique opportunity. In Kerala about 35% of the population dislikes CPM and this block of votes is currently looking for an alternative. If used well BJP can easily replace Congress as the main opposition party and the majority of CPM in next elections can be reduced from 2/3 majority to a vulnerable simple majority.


3) V.S. Achuthanandan group and the intellectual groups with in CPM are fed-up with classless behavior and dominance of Mr. Vijayan. This large portion which mostly consists of well educated Hindus and Christians are most easily attracted now.


4) Even if BJP ties up with Congress in the up-coming assembly election, it is not likely to win more than 4 or 5 seats in the next assembly and even those will be eliminated once congress regroups and regain strength from its pathetic state.

How to tear Marxists apart


1)        Acknowledge the old great leaders. EMS Naboodiripad is a very well respected old time leader for most Keralites. He practically wiped out Landlordism and Caste based discrimination from Kerala society. He brought self respect to the backward communities of Kerala. How to use his name against his own party? Heap a lot of praise on him but at the same time stress the fact that while EMS sacrificed his personal wealth for the sake of people the present CPM leaders (Pinaray) coming from being a Beedi factory worker have enriched themselves to be Multi-millionaires Their children are studying mostly out side Kerala, at Private Engineering and medical colleges with huge donations and hefty fees. At the same time these leaders are organizing strikes and Hartals in Kerala colleges even at the drop of a hat.

2)        Cut off CPM`s money source and grow BJP at the same time. One of the important source of money for CPM has been the various social pensions to backward communities. About half of this 800 crore each year ends up in CPM hands through local units. Almost all of the other half ends up in Toddy shops of Kerala. It is absolutely necessary to cut off this source with out being seen as a repressor of backward classes. CPM has ensured the continuance of these socially backward classes by allotting 800 crores in pensions while less than 25 crores is allotted to the education of socially backward children.


BJP should argue for this pension to be reduced by 10% each year for the next 5 years. The money saved in this manner should be allotted to education of socially backward children. Also the pension itself should be replaced with Food coupons usable at Kerala Civil supply stores. This will eliminate the money flow to CPM local committees and also with in next 10 years there will be very little socially backward class left. This educated new generation is more likely to be BJP followers than CPM. This will drastically alter the BJP image as champions for development of socially backward classes. The Eezhavas(backward community) of Kerala has progressed in community from toddy tappers to doctors and lawyers by the virtue of education.

3) Hammer on Unholy alliance of CPM with Karunakaran. – The emergency time Rajan case can be used as a usefull stick to beat both Congress and CPM. Keep a long distance from Karunakaran. He has very little following and he is despised by most Keralites. Any association with Karunakaran will only tarnish the clean image of BJP.

4)Attack the opposition of CPM to industrial development of Kerala. CPM has been in the forefront of creating labour troubles while other south Indian states like TN, AP and Karnataka has become industrialized and progressed. CPM talks of exploitation of workforce as an excuse against industrialization and privatization. When IT companies started in Bangalore, they paid engineers only a Rs 1000/- while selling their output at Rs 10,000/-. Is it exploitation? Yes in a way it is. But they were trying to compete against multi-nationals who were selling their products at Rs. 40,000/- or Rs. 50,000/-. By under cutting these competition the IT companies grew in strength and market share and technology. But as they gained in strength more and more companies got in to the action and generated more and more employment. The competition to get talented work force heated up and in the last 10 years the salaries have risen more than 10 times. Now they stand as the best paid workers in India and India has been recognized as a world IT power. They contribute to the Indian economy to a great extent. Now if they had started initially by paying Rs 8,000 or Rs 10,000 from the beginning of IT revolution in Bangalore, Indian IT companies would have never captured the world market and would have ended up like government industries of Kerala living on tax-payer`s money.

5)Power of private entrepreneurship – In early 1960`s the bus services of Kerala was nationalized. But since government had only limited buses, they mostly serviced Southern Kerala. So the government had to let private sector operate services in Northern Kerala. So initially there was an acute service shortage in Northern Kerala but many individual entrepreneurs and small companies saw the opportunity for making a good investment jumped at it. In short now almost every village in Northern Kerala has more neat and better equipped and more frequent bus services than Trivandrum city itself. The cost of a ride in these are cheaper than the seat torn KSRTC buses, which break down in every 50 kilometers. Kerala does not live in a feudalistic society and government does not need to in-efficient companies to create employment. These tax-payer subsidized companies are more a burden to Kerala society than asset. Even today Tax-payers of kerala continue to dish out several hundred crores of rupeeies to feed the “white elephant” KSRTC, even though we all do not use it any more.


6) The only industries in Kerala like Mavoor Rayons, FACT, ALIND or Cochin Shipyard have gone bankrupt and closed or are living on Tax-payer dole out while similar industries in other south Indian states have flourished and are developing more and more employment. When industries start-up they may not be able to pay international wages but as more and more industries establish and grow they will generate more employment and wages will rise as seen in IT. It does not need Marxist Unions to raise the wages but it is a simple question of supply and demand. Now even with all government oversight and Marxist unions Kerala workers in Cashew factories work under dangerous ( Gene mutating chemical exposure) circumstances to hardly make a living.

7)Attack the air transport company plan – Now the Congress and CPM wants to set up an air transport corporation under government supervision. We already know how often Kerala government run KSRTC breaks-down. Thank god that at least it is on land, where one can easily and safely stop. Even with buses the government subsidy is in several hundred crores while in airplane it is going to be 20 or 100 times more costly. If the government can not run its buses safely and economically what makes it think it can run air transport any better? With KSRTC safety record and poor maintenance I dare not fly to Dubai in a Kerala government run air planes.


8)We Keralites continue to subsidize and pamper with several hundred crores KSRTC, KSEBC, Water supply Sewage and waste disposal boards and services while the consumer takes private buses for transportation, pays some of the highest cost for electricity and drinks polluted water and sewage and waste fills up our poth-hole filled roads with every day electricity cuts. In most nations these services are provided in an excellent way by private companies at comparable or cheaper costs. If a government spends more than 12% (except in education)of it`s budget in administrative costs it can not be called as a Public service. In Kerala not only most of the departments spend more than half of it`s budget in administrative cost but also never publish these accounts.

9) Kerala lives on foreign remittances- The tax collected in Kerala is not even sufficient to pay the government employees and Kerala basically lives on money borrowed from International institutions and remittances from hard working Keralites from Middle east, USA, Far east and other nations.


10)  Elaborate on danger of over-dependence on revenue from the Middle-east – More and more locals are demanding jobs. Recently there was a strike by unemployed Baharini youths demanding work. More government are clamping down on immigration and sending back other nationalities. More trouble is brewing in Iran and other Middle eastern countries. If there are more revolutions or war like that happened in Kuwait in 1991 – Kerala would face an economic melt down and would become a Bangladesh with out industries and employment opportunities.

11)Economic Burden of Kerala. Government of Kerala owes Rs 55,000 each on every Child, man and Woman of Kerala to international money lenders while the leaders of both communists and Congress have grown in to multi-millionaires. More than half of the Tax collected by government of Kerala goes to paying the interest of these loans. This debt has been created by both LDF and UDF money squandering on useless projects for the well being of few of their followers and leaders while public has had no benefit. The roads in Kerala are the worst maintained and bridges are too often ready to break down and power cuts are all too prevalent. The Public transports spend more time on bricks than on tires. The government hospitals in Kerala are in a pitiable state and our schools are in such a bad state that all too often IT companies refuse to take our graduates. Our children in Public schools spend more time on streets on strikes and hartals than in class rooms. Is that the Kerala you want?

How to overcome the economic burden


In order to pull the popular opinion to BJP, it is not just enough to find fault with LDF and UDF but it is necessary to suggest solutions to the problem. BJP sits in an enviable position to criticize since it was never a party to the creation of economic burden.


1)        Redefine the size of the government – All departments should be resized to make sure that only less than 12% of the department budget (Except education) is spent on salary and administrative costs.


2)        Replace international debt with NRK debt. By issuing bonds to be sold exclusively to Non-resident/ Resident Keralites (RK /NRK) many things can be achieved.


a)        Government`s bargaining power is improved.


b)        Most of the interest paid on this debt gets recirculated in to Kerala economy through relatives and family of NRKs. Thus serious resource drainage from local economy is avoided. Also injection of this interest in to economy will result in greater economic activity and would result in greater capital investments. Thus severe effects of international debt can be avoided.


3)        Privatization of all subsidized public firms. As a policy any public sector entity that needs tax payer money to survive should be privatized. This will not only reduce tax payer burden but also will promote efficiencies in services and improvements.

How to break the allies of CPM


1)        CPI – CPI has been has been playing the second fiddle to CPM, the big brother. Many of it`s workers are unhappy with this situation. Ridiculing CPI, which had visionary leaders like C. Achutha Menon ( He endeared his name by initiating 1 lakh houses project for socially backward classes) has become nothing more than a tail to a rogue CPM might be very effective. Even many of the other coalition partners of LDF are unhappy over the big brother attitude of CPM.


Whom to ally with in Kerala for the sake of future.

Realistic Approach


With out doubt CPM is going to come to power in the next election. But if BJP makes strategic alliances alliances and work hard at the grass root level for the next six months it can easily get 35 to 40 seats, thus ensuring the minimum mass necessary for permanent growth of the party in Kerala. BJP can easily replace Congress as the main opposition party and the majority of CPM in next elections can be reduced from currently probable 2/3 majority to a vulnerable simple majority.

Though it is unthinkable in many other states, in order to succeed in Kerala Political scene BJP do need allies. Here Christians come very handy. The Christians of Kerala fear the communists the most and have been traditionally allied with Kerala congress and her allies. This time due to strong anti-incumbency factor they are in a fix. Another factor contributing to BJP`s favour is the fact that Muslims despite of being only third largest community after Hindus and Muslims have had a strangle hold over important portifolios for last two decades both in LDF and UDF governments. They have been arrogant enough to pull down the national flag from Calicut airport. Also a senior muslim politician involved in a notorious sex scandal had held Kerala to ransom . A large section of population of Kerala is very angry over these actions. Also Muslim league has misused their power to allot themselves a variety of professional college licenses. This has been seen as a serious threat by Christian community, who has traditionally controlled education. Under the current circumstances Muslims form a greater threat than Christians for BJP and Hindus of Kerala.

This is the most appropriate time pluck allies from the UDF camp and shore up the alliance with SNDP, NSS etc to form a well shielded Hindu front. With a open alliance with Christians, BJP is in the right situation to decimate congress to the same level as they are in Bihar and takes its place as the major political force in Kerala.

For all the above things to happen, BJP central leadership has to firmly put their foot down and ask all sections of Kerala party to work seriously with a unified strategy and goal for the next six months till the assembly elections. Local leadership should not be running after personal relationship with leaders of congress party or doing un-official ties or backroom politics counter to the official guide line. These un-official back room deals will only destroy the image and future of the party. If worked hard enough with BJP`s grass root cadre with in Kerala we should see the rise of BJP as the main opposition in the coming elections and decimation of congress. In such a case BJP coming to power with in a decade in Kerala is not a dream but a clear possibility.

 

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