Just ten days from the elections in Kerala, I’m left wondering who to vote for. The UDF government that ruled the state for the last five years has almost ruined the state. Scams and scandals haunted the government throughout its reign. It appears that every Congressman in the state is either a money-guzzler or an accomplice of some swindler. When the Opposition leader, nonagenarian V S Achuthanandan, alleged that there were many charges against the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy filed a defamation case for a damage of Rs 1 lakh. Mr Chandy’s reputation cannot be very precious when the wily man had refused to file any defamation charge against Saritha Nair who went on hurling all sorts of allegations against him. There seem to be very few Congressmen left in Kerala whose otherwise immaculately white, perfectly starched, khadi shirts are not tainted with variegated stains of corruption. There are a few who are not corrupt in the traditional sense. But they are guilty of breeding factionalism in the party.
I can’t vote for the UDF. My finger will recoil if it tries to press the UDF button on the electronic ballot box.
The LDF is still not sure who their leader is. Achuthanandan is 92, thinks he is 22 and behaves occasionally like a 12 year-old adolescent out of parental control. Most prominent leaders in the Front can never see Achuthanandan eye to eye. But when the election comes, they will project him as the supreme leader of the Front. Achuthanandan is honest but anachronistic. Not only his honesty but particularly his socialist idealism is out of sync with the contemporary world. They, his honesty and idealism, are great vote-catchers. His party knows that and is using the man effectively. But once the elections are over, the game will change. Honesty and idealism will be shunned.
At any rate, it’s time for Achuthanandan to retire from active politics.
Pinarayi Vijayan is an efficient leader. He won’t mind dumping some of the obsolete leftist policies if the party comes to power. He won’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. But he is not entirely untouched by corruption charges. There is no reason to assume that he is going to a lead an efficient government which can effectively yoke socialist plough with the capitalist bulldozer. Most party workers still labour under socialist illusions. Even if Vijayan wants to revolutionise socialism by adapting it to the given reality, his party cadres won’t let him do it.
If the UDF swallowed the state’s coffers, the LDF will take the state back by a few years. My finger is likely to recoil at the sight of the LDF candidate’s name too, it seems.
There is a third front on the ascent. About a dozen small parties have come together under the banner of the NDA. I detest right wing politics. My whole being rebels against the antique outlook of the right wingers. Theirs is a vision that should be relegated to the museum as curious exhibits. Vellapally Natesan who is a prominent leader of the NDA front in Kerala is a mere opportunist and has a reputation for swindling his own people. There is not a single leader with any worthwhile vision in the Right front. So my finger won’t even move in that direction.
NOTA seems to be the option left. But is NOTA a responsible choice. It is found that NOTA has been extensively used in reserved constituencies by upper class people to declare their opposition to the reservation of the seat. I am against reservations. But is the polling booth the right platform for registering my protest? Do I want anarchy in the country? Is a corrupt leader better than no leader?
I’m still thinking. I have ten days more to think.