VS evaluating political scenario in Kerala; hopes LDF will retain power
Veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan has taken a break from politics. Kerala is going to witness an election in which VS is not part of. He opened up about the current political scenario in the state in an exclusive interview with ‘Mathrubhumi’. The questionnaire was sent to him and it took five days to get back the reply. The help of personal staff was also sought. Excerpts from the interview…
You take care of your health even at 97. How do you manage this? Do you take note of the happennings?
My health is not in my control anymore. I am suffering from issues after a brain hemorrhage. I cannot continue my routine that begins from 4 am. Also I had to cut short morning walks and Yoga. But I notice news reports on dailies and channels.
Do you think LDF will retain power?
Definitely. The working class and the secular people want the LDF to retain power. People have realised that the LDF government will stand by them in crises like floods, Ockhi, Nipah, Covid and the like. They will choose LDF which ensures they all have food during the hard times. But LDF supporters have to work hard and explain their achievements to the people.
How do you assess Pinarayi Vijayan as a leader and as a chief minister?
There is no point in assessing any leader. Without a leader, a political front is incomplete. It is more important to see how one fulfills the duties entrusted by the party, be it land reforms, education bill, paddy and wetland conservation, eviction of encroachment, welfare activities or disaster management. The people will never be doubtful of this government.
There were many serious allegations from gold smuggling to deep sea trawling scam towards the end of the LDF government’s tenure this time. How do you evaluate this?
No ruler can perform his duties fearing allegations. Similar allegations were raised during the last term of the previous government too. When I was the chief minister, the opposition even appointed a committee to find out an ideal allegation that can be used to attack me. Central agencies are investigating the allegations at present on the request of LDF. There are allegations that the probe agencies are being used as political tools during election time. The Kerala government cannot sell the sea.
BJP is trying to make gains in Kerala. Will their efforts yield results?
BJP will try hard to win here. Since the liberation struggle, the anti-social forces are as active as the Left front. But this is Kerala that has Left secular roots. BJP won’t be able to grow here. Kerala will give the right answer to BJP that keeps selling the nation.
What lessons did you learn from this long political career?
The style of political parties has changed a lot. The old slogans have become irrelevant. Just like EMS said, a politician’s basic values are self-sacrifice and honesty. But this is very difficult these days. Capital interests have influenced political parties too. The Leftists can go forward only by resisting this.