In Kerala’s Left sway, Muslims, Christians make themselves count

BEHIND THE CPI (M)-led LDF’s thumping win within the Kerala polls, there may be additionally a transparent shift of two minority communities, Muslims and Christians, who was once historically the spine of Congress-led UDF. Each communities have totally different causes to rally behind the CPI (M), abandoning the Congress.

After the anti-CAA protest of 2019, the Muslim neighborhood obtained nearer to the CPI (M) because the occasion obtained recognized because the pressure to tackle the BJP. The moment response of the CPI (M) in Kerala – a human chain towards the CAA and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s announcement that the amended citizenship regulation wouldn’t be applied in Kerala – discovered favour with even pro-IUML Muslim organisations. Within the run-up to the elections, Vijayan reiterated that Kerala wouldn’t implement the CAA.

Additionally, the BJP manifesto in a number of methods was a reason behind concern within the Muslim neighborhood. It promised a regulation towards “love jihad”, and authorities eye on international remittance, and spiritual organisations to stop extremism. The occasion mobilised a battery of senior leaders from outdoors the state to marketing campaign on a powerful Hindutva agenda.

Senior BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan declared that the occasion would convert Nemom – the lone seat it held within the earlier meeting – to Gujarat. Whereas the Congress remained silent, a reassurance got here from Vijayan, who mentioned the LDF would shut the BJP’s Nemom account as properly.

The Left’s confidence transformed into votes locally– because the election outcomes present. In constituencies equivalent to Nemom and Kazhakkoottam, the place the BJP was comfortably positioned, Muslim voters rallied behind the CPI (M), resulting in the LDF successful these two seats.

In Kottayam’s Poonjar seat, the Muslim neighborhood’s alternative was LDF as properly, towards sitting legislator P C George, who misplaced favour due to his anti-Muslims statements. The Muslim neighborhood right here had historically stood with the UDF – George had been a part of UDF for a number of a long time. However when it got here to defeating the legislator who as soon as strayed into the NDA camp, the selection was clearly not the UDF. The Congress completed third in Poonjar.

In Thiruvananthapuram central, the place the BJP put up a powerful struggle, the Muslims’ alternative was not Congress strongman V S Sivakumar, however lesser identified LDF candidate Antony Raju, who emerged as a shock winner.

In IUML base Malappuram, the LDF retained the 4 seats it bagged final time. Moreover, it introduced down the margin of the IUML in a number of seats.

The Christian neighborhood alternatively had a separate cause to lean in the direction of the Left. A large chunk of votes, significantly Catholic, in central Kerala districts of Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta went to the LDF as a mark of protest in the direction of the rising affect of IUML within the UDF.

The Congress confronted this election at a time a rift between each its vote banks of Muslims and Christians grew deeper over sharing of quota in minority welfare schemes. The Church had been important of the IUML calling the photographs within the UDF and feared that if the UDF returned to energy it might have an effect on the pursuits of Christians.

The resignation of senior IUML chief P Okay Kunhalikutty as MP to contest within the state polls added gas to that debate. Additionally, IUML bonhomie with Jamaat-e-Islami was a cause for the Church to disengage with the UDF.

The BJP additionally stepped in with its marketing campaign towards “love jihad”, to drive a wedge between the 2 communities that when stood with the Congress. Through the elections, regional Christian occasion Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose Okay Mani’s assertion that there’s concern over love jihad, was focused to faucet the anti-Muslim sentiments prevailing in Central Kerala.

In Kozhikode district, the UDF misplaced one among its most secure seats Thiruvambadi to the CPI (M) as a fallout of the Catholic neighborhood’s bitterness with the IUML.

Vijayan’s gestures to Christians included the appointment of a panel to check the neighborhood’s socio-economic situation and inclusion of convents and such spiritual communities throughout the ambit of subsidised ration system through the pandemic interval.

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