The CPI (M) and its allies chose wealth over virtue; and the results have come. The party lost its dominance at the local level of panchayats and municipalities after two decades. The results of the elections to about 1200 local self government institutions in Kerala should come as a blow to the CPI (M). However, there may not be much remorse or regret in the CPI (M) camp. At least some of its leaders had the capacity to predict what was to come and identify the causes. But most of them chose trend the path of mammon.
It notable that urban areas with not-so-committed people are fast abandoning the party. The wave has reached the villages and is brushing party-strongholds. Yet, it has not penetrated strong holds like Kannur and backward areas like Ksaragod where people who were loyal to the party remain loyal. However, it would be hard for the party to stem the trend now.
People have learned that the party has changed a lot from the times its leaders slept on wooden benches in the party office and survived on brunches of ‘parippuvada’ and black tea. They have now migrated to party-built flats and five star comforts. That might have been inevitable. But, simultaneously, they abandoned values and paid only lip service to the ideology that sustained the party.
It would be wrong to relate the defeat just to the recent controversies such as the lotteries issue. The State Cabinet has become an epitome of collective irresponsibility while the party leaders embraced mega projects. The government could not deliver on the developmental front and failed the weaker sections (Eg. Attappady tribals, endosulfan victims, Chengara agitators and many small fries who tasted the injustice from the administration). An increase in welfare pensions cannot do the trick anymore. Why should the people credit a government for dolling out what they have paid in taxes? Any fool could undertake such enterprises and pocket his commissions. You would not appoint him to govern you.
Tailpiece (added on 29th):
The BJP claims that it has improved its support. What it could do was to harness the support that was already there. It is not a political victory. Rather, what it gone in terms of votes is spill overs from the wave against LDF.