Kerala Assembly Elections, 2011 Results – a different outlook
There are several points to be considered for the analysis of the 2011 election results:
In fighting in the fronts: One factor to be taken into account is that both the fronts have the opposition within and outside. The maximum problem is from the opposition within. It is a oneupmanship over the rivals. So whoever is in Government seat has to waste major portion of the time and energy to combat the opposition within. In the last Government also this aspect was there very much. As soon as Achuthanandan came to power, he first wanted to settle score with the Pinarayi group. So he started with fanfare some measures like the raising of lavleen issue, the encroachment issue of high ranges etc. This was really catching up with the imagination of people. Later he realised it was counterproductive or came back to the usual complacent track till the General election was to be announced. Before the election was to be announced he again came into aggressive mood and pretended to be a sincere crusader against corruption by raking up the issues of Ice Cream Parlor, CVC recommendations etc. The people of Kerala and throughout the country are accustomed with the tricks of both the fronts and all the parties.
Anti Incumbency Factor:In Kerala and Tamilnad till now there is the tendency of alternating the 2 major fronts in every election. In Kerala this time it was the turn of the UDF to come to power. This was reflected in the Lok Sabha and the Panchayath elections. However, the 2 G scam, CVC appointment bungling, price rise of vegetables, essential commodities and fruits, the rising of the prices of petroleum products many times during one year itself all made the people to rethink about bringing the UDF to power as most of the parties at the center and the main one itself is same.
Lethargy of UDF:Another factor was that from my observations of parts of Thrissur, Wadakkancheri, Thrithala and Chelakkara constituencies and the day to day media reports about the campaign, it was obvious that by and large the UDF tried to make some effort of canvassing in the towns in a half hearted way and took the attitude of vote us if you want on the whole. The main evidence of their candidates contesting is the small hand bills plastered over the places. This naturally affected the margins of votes and seats. On the contrary the LDF candidates had large size posters of V SA and the candidates throughout the constituencies and where vigorously canvassing for votes. They had been arranging small scale meetings before the bigger meetings of the leaders. This explains the attendances of people in the meetings of the leaders of the two groups. The UDF meetings were not attended by people as that of the LDF. This was interpreted as an Achuthanandan wave.
Congress Candidate selection and late announcement:One more factor was the selection and finalization of the candidates for the sets. The Congress party was very slow in finalizing the candidates and the protests from those who were not given tickets were fresh and affected the electorate. The Congress suffered more on this count. In many constituencies either the rebels were also contesting or those did not get tickets and did not contest worked against the official candidates.
Sympathy Factor:The CPIM played for the sympathy factor of the electorate by making it appear that Achuthanandan is denied ticket and later given under pressure. In the last election this was real and has done some good. But in this election it did not work out. The LDF, after announcement of candidates appeared to be working unitedly under the leadership V S A with the hope that this will bring them back in power. But it was only outwardly.
West Bengal Position:The Left front with the CPIM as major partner was rattled and shaken out of their wits by the avalanche of the Thrinamul Congress popularity in west Bengal. The all India leadership was so dazed and paralyzed to give any attention to the Kerala unit and left it to fend for itself.
V S A's preach and practice:Mr Achuthanandan also has contributed by his performances and utterances during his tenure. Most of us will be remembering his visit and comments at late Sandeep Unnikrishnan's (martyr of 26/11 Mumbai) house at Bengaluru and some similar but milder remarks in Kerala during the election campaign. People assess the persons from what they speak and practice. His son Arunkumar was in controversy over the alleged unnecessary foreign trips and out of the way promotions. The land allotment to the ex military personnel, his relation also is factor for the final result.
Conclusion:We should have the result in favour of the LDF, if the V S A factor was so strong as was projected. According to the media only the V S A meetings were attended by huge crowds, whereas the meetings of UDF, even addressed by the top leaders were thinly attended. This should have reflected in the votes and the LDF should have come with thumping majority instead of losing power.
In spite of the V S A wave, scandals at the central level, the huge price rise, the corruption at local level exposed by V S A the result was not in favour of LDF. The people of Kerala and other states know for whom to vote and they voted accordingly and the result is the result of the election.