Protagonists of negative politics defeated: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
The Left Front’s decisive victory in Kerala will help the party and secular forces across the country, state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday, underlining that his government will put forth a positive agenda focused on development and arresting the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
In an interview to HT, Vijayan credited the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) win, which bucked a four-decade-old electoral trend of the state changing governments every five years, to welfare measures, transparency and development.
“This is the achievement of the people. They were very clear that the protagonists of negative politics were kept away from power. People have rewarded us mainly because we kept our promises,” said the 76-year-old.
The LDF’s stellar performance in Kerala – it won 97 of the state’s 140 assembly seats – was somewhat marred by the group’s poor showing in erstwhile bastion West Bengal, where it drew a blank. But Vijayan said the Kerala win will rejuvenate the party and secular forces.
“They always looked up to Kerala, as we have been relentlessly fighting the communal agenda propelled by the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]. We were also able to put across an alternative agenda on both social and economic spheres,” he said.
He said the state had no space for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said he triumphed in the polls despite a conspiracy to destabilise his government through central agencies. He also acknowledged that a surge in Covid-19 infections – the state has been reporting 36,059 cases on average – was a challenge.
“Containing the pandemic is our major task, and we are confident of success. We have already sought assistance from the central government, including an additional share of vaccines. We are working in unison with the central government to contain the spread of virus,” he said.
He highlighted that the previous government focussed on infrastructure development in roads, air connectivity, power, and gas and his second term will stress on attracting more investment, developing tourism, and creating jobs.