The election to the office of President is likely to be held in the last week of July, and there is no suspense on how Kerala will vote as it will be against the candidate fielded by the NDA.
In Kerala, the Left with 99 seats is ruling the state while the opposition UDF led by Congress has 40 seats in the 140- member assembly. One seat has fallen vacant after the death of Congress legislator P.T. Thomas and the by-lection to the Thrikkakara seat which he represented is to take place on May 31.
The Left parties have categorically said that the main agenda of the 23rd party Congress is to bring down the BJP government led by Narendra Modi at the Centre. This is a clear indicator that the party will all out oppose the candidate put up by the NDA for the presidential elections.
CPM and CPI – the two main parties of the Left front in Kerala – have clearly stated that they will oppose the candidate put up by the BJP-led NDA but the party is yet to take a final decision as to how it would vote in the election.
With the BJP or the NDA not having any legislators from Kerala, the vote for the candidate put by the BJP led NDA in the presidential election will be zero.
Senior leader of the CPM and special invitee of party Central Committee, S. Ramachandran Pillai told IANS, “The CPM is a political party that is stiffly against the BJP. We will be taking a stand for the president election according to our policies. However, the party has to take a decision on the same office in the days to come.”
The senior leader, however, said that the party committees have to finalise the decision. He did not comment on whether the party will be voting along with the Congress from Kerala.
While the CPM and the Congress are jointly opposing the BJP at the Centre, in Kerala, the two are opposed to each other and hence the CPM and the Left parties will have to tread a cautious line while voting in the presidential elections.
Senior CPI leader Annie Raja told IANS, “The party central secretariat is meeting on May 12 and after that, we will take a call on this.”
The Congress party in Kerala is of the opinion that the strategy regarding the election to the President post will be decided only after the Congress Working Committee meeting.
Former state president of the Kerala unit of the Congress party, Mullappally Ramachandran told IANS, “The Congress is the main opposition party to the BJP at the Centre and as far as the presidential election is concerned, the election will be held in July last probably and hence the party has time for that.
The party CWC meeting will decide on the strategies and alliances for the presidential election and these are early days to speak on that.”
CPM Politbureau member and former Kerala secretary A. Vijayaraghavan told IANS, “The party politburo will take a decision on this and CPM is totally against the policies and programmes of the BJP-led NDA. However, a decision on this will be taken only after the party politburo meeting.”
The CPM and CPI, the two major Left parties, will take a decision only after the Politburo and Central secretariat meetings respectively but by and large, the leaders agree that the main agenda will be to defeat BJP’s presidential candidate.
With Kerala having no BJP representation or for that matter from the NDA, the candidate put up by the NDA for the post of president is certain to get no votes in the state.
However, the BJP-led NDA is better placed to win the presidential polls as the difference between the ruling front and the opposition in electoral college of 10.49 lakh votes in as high as one lakh.