Kerala Leftists sing Chandy tune

None | By, Thiruvananthapuram
Mar 30, 2006 09:09 PM IST

The Kerala Leftists have changed their signature tune ? from protest songs to a hymn to liberalisation.

The Kerala Leftists have changed their signature tune — from high-decibel protest songs to a hymn to liberalisation. Are they following Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's band or it just a temporary diversion in view of polls? The electorate is a wee bit confused.

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High on the CPM election manifesto are a "Digital City" and a six-lane-speed road. Some time ago, these were known as Smart City and express highway, pet themes of the Congress-led UDF government.

In 2003, when the highway was mooted by the Congress, the CPM had lashed out against the idea, harping on environmental issues. It had also opposed the Rs 1,500-crore deal with the Dubai Internet City to set up Smart City in Kochi.

At sniffing distance from power, the Left Democratic Front (LDF)'s slogans have changed. Investment is top priority, with the Marxists saying they welcome pri vate participation even in educa tion, for long a holy cow. LDF con vener Paloli Mohammedkutty, who released the manifesto on Tuesday, was at pains to explain the U-turn. "We aren't against Smart City. We are only opposing some of the pro visions of the agreement," he said.

So what is the difference between the LDF and the UDF? "Our opponents' development centres on a minority of population, but ours is a comprehensive one targeting all sections," said Mohammedkutty.

Malayalis have one more doubt —was the manifesto drafted with the approval of hardliner V.S. Achuthanandan, possibly the next CM if the Left comes to power?

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    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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