The communists will have to reinvent themselves if they were to survive. The mixing of ideology and democratic centralism with real politik, corruption and business is not going to work. But its is doubtful whether the Lok Sabha election results would be an eye-opener for a party ridden with factionalism and an increased aptitude for materialistic possessions.
While professing secularism, the communists had been responsible for propping up the Muslim League and even the Bharatiya Janata Party. Now, its effort to fight the League with virulent form of communalism has backfired. Will the party learn its lessons? (One of the false arguments raised by the CPI(M) men were that the PDP was being reformed. However, now having failed in attempts to gain legitimacy, the PDF is likely to go back into more extremist ways.)
Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan has already disowned responsibility for the debacle in Kerala. The fact remains that the Government had failed to carry out its election promises during the past three years. Yet, Mr. Achuthanandan would say that this was because of his party and front constituents. But people have noted that staying in the Chief Minister’s gaddy was more important to him than asserting things beyond mere rhetoric.
The fight between Pinarayi and Achuthanandan is to continue and both will try to stick to their positions. However, the people are not going to pardon them in the coming by-elections– to the three Assembly seats to be vacated by the newly elected Members, too if they don’t pave way for improvement of the functioning of the Government. But that would happen only after a churning in the Left Front. The main JD (S) faction is set to leave the Front. The CPI will have to consider its options. The Church has told the Kerala Congress (Joseph) that it would not have its support as long as it is with the Left Front.
Democratic conventions demand that the party leader who led the party to a major debacle should quit. A Chief Minister who has lost support of most of his party members (which amounts to losing majority in the Assembly) too should quit, especially because the people’s mandate for the Government is now in doubt. However, our leaders are not democratic or gracious enough to do that. Others would have to push them out! And that is easily said than done!