SANU K. GEROGE
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 13 (IANS) The CPI-M ridiculing Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat jodo yatra’ has not come as a surprise, given the insecurities the LDF-led government has been facing in the state for the past few months.
Those well-versed with the political dynamics in the state understand why the CPI-M fired first salvo against Gandhi by comparing the duration of his stays in Kerala and Uttar Pradesh during the rally.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said: “The CPI-M’s last bastion in the country is Kerala. Despite the party creating history by retaining power in the April 2021 Assembly polls, there are reasons more than one for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government to be jittery over the massive response this yatra has evoked,” said the critic.
He went on to point out that even though there is no election round the corner, the next being the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, if the Congress is able to build up the party here at the grassroots level, then it’s bad news for Vijayan and his party.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Vijayan suffered a real jolt when the Congress-led UDF won 19 out of the 20 seats in the state.
“Even though in 2019 the scenario was different largely due to the stand taken by Vijayan in the Sabarimala temple issue, the going was tough for him. But the response the yatra has evoked in just three days has sent shockwaves to the CPI-M and hence they have ridiculed it.
Taking a dig at the Gandhi scion, the CPI-M had ridiculed his prolonged yatra in Kerala and only a few days in UP.
As per the schedule, the former Congress president will be in the LDF-ruled Kerala till September 30.
Along with Rahul’s caricature, the CPI-M had tweeted: “Bharat Jodo or seat jodo, 18 days in Kerala and 2 days in UP… strange ways to fight the BJP-RSS.”
The yatra will have 118 permanent members and will crisscross the country covering over 3,750 kms through 12 states and reach its destination in 150 days.
It reached the Kerala border on September 11 and it will cover 43 Assembly constituencies and 12 Lok Sabha and 453 kms in 19 days.
SANU K. GEROGE