February 21, 2021
Taking Forward Kerala’s Development March under LDF

N S Sajith

SURMOUNTING numerous odds such as Cyclone Ockhi, two back-to-back floods and the coronavirus pandemic, the LDF government in Kerala has performed well in diverse arenas, including infrastructure development, education, health, social welfare, information and technology, job creation, revival of public sector units, construction of homes for the homeless, waste management, and revival of water bodies. The government has also excelled in maintaining communal harmony. The announcement by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that Kerala will not implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and anti-farmer legislations of the centre instill immense confidence among minority communities and farmers.

These achievements were acknowledged by various national and international agencies who gave several awards to the state. The people of Kerala too showered their trust in the Left Democratic Front in the recently concluded local body elections. An outstanding victory was achieved despite a hate campaign against the LDF government by the opposition and a section of the media in the name of the infamous gold smuggling case. The LDF is going to face another litmus test in the assembly elections due in April this year.

To spread the message of development and progress, the LDF has decided to reach out to the entire population of the state through two marches – ‘Vikasana Munnetta Jatha’ (Taking Forward the Development March). The marches, led by LDF convener and CPI(M) state acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan and CPI national secretariat member Binoy Viswam, are progressing through the length and breadth of the state.

The northern jatha led by Vijayaraghavan started from Uppala in Manjeswaram constituency in Kasargod district. K P Rajendran (CPI), P Satheedevi (CPI(M), P T Jose (KCM), K Lohia (JDS), P K Rajan (NCP), Babu Gopinath (Congress-S), K P Mohanan (LJD), Jose Chemperi (KCB), Kasim Irikkoor (INL), Bijoy Joseph (Kerala Congress-Skaria), and A J Joseph (Democratic Kerala Congress) are taking part in the northern jatha.

While inaugurating the northern jatha, Chief Minister Vijayan said the LDF government has achieved the unachievable and the people want continuation of this government. A comprehensive development was achieved in the last five years. The government’s care has reached every sphere of society. People believe that only the LDF can make the state prosperous because of their experiences in the last five years. All promises made by the LDF have been fulfilled. The government has published progress reports every year based on its performances. A ray of hope has appeared in the minds of people and desperation among the people has eroded.

The government is gathering opinions from the representatives of all sections of society. People from all walks of life openly came out and expressed their will for the continuation of the LDF government which stands for the unity of people. The opposition was trying to tarnish the image of the government with the help of central investigation agencies. But they never succeeded in their mission to upset the government. People have debunked the stream of lies created by the opposition and a section of the mainstream media.

The chief minister said that the CAA will not be implemented in the state. Communal organisations are trying to divert the thrust of the debate from development to communalism. It is not good for the state. The communal tactics of the SDPI and the Jamaat-e-Islami in the name of countering the RSS, is suicidal. The minority community should join hands with the LDF to resist all communal forces. Unlike the Congress, the Left Democratic Front continues with an uncompromising stance against communalism. The Congress is always hand-in-glove with the BJP, Vijayan said.

Northern jatha leader A Vijayaraghavan said Kerala has become a model for the country. When the central government is pampering the corporates, the LDF government stands with the people. It supports the people in all aspects and its commitment to them is unique, especially in the days of lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The suffering of the people of the country is sharpening. The skyrocketing prices of essential commodities have made the common man’s life miserable. Earlier people took loans to purchase cars. Today, loans are needed to purchase fuel. The policies of both the BJP and the Congress in this regard are identical, he added.

The northern jatha will culminate in Thrissur on February 26 and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury will address the public meeting there.

The southern jatha started from Ernakulam and was inaugurated by CPI general secretary D Raja. Apart from jatha leader Binoy Viswam, M V Govindan (CPI(M), P Vasantham (CPI), Thomas Chazhikkadan (Kerala Congress-M), Sabu George (JDS), Varkkala B Ravikumar (NCP), Mathews Kolancheri (Congress-S), V Surendran Pillai (LJD), M V Mani (KCB), Abdul Wahab (INL), Shaji Kadamala (Kerala Congress-Skaria), George Augustine (Democratic Kerala Congress) are taking part in the march.

While inaugurating the march, D Raja said the people of India eagerly look for the victory of the LDF in Kerala. The fight of Kerala is not for Kerala alone. It is a fight for India. Left forces alone can resist the threat of communalisation and privatisation. The people of Kerala are very much aware of the achievements made by the LDF government in Kerala. The government provided a model for how to tackle natural calamities. The social indices of Kerala are unparalleled. No other state can claim such a unique achievement. When Prime Minister Modi is enthusiastically involved in the sale of PSUs, Chief Minister Vijayan boldly announced that the state will not allow the privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport. The UDF in Kerala always supported the communal tactics of the BJP, Raja said.

The southern jatha will culminate in Thiruvananthapuram on February 26.