CPI(M) to rally rubber farmers to increase the Left’s influence in central Kerala

In an apparent bid to expand the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) relatively narrow political base in central Kerala, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] seeks to rally rubber growers facing hard times on a common platform to resist the Modi government’s withdrawal of protections for the moribund sector.

CPI(M) State secretary M. V. Govindan gave an early indication of the purported sally by highlighting the uncertain future faced by rubber farmers and the need to rally them against the Centre’s policies.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate a convention of rubber farmers. The mustering would transcend political lines, he said.

The CPI(M), it appears, also hopes to make inroads into the United Democratic Front’s (UDF) traditional strongholds in central Kerala and, simultaneously, retard the growing influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the region.

The BJP made overtures to the Church leadership by empathising with the latter’s concerns about the “love jihad and narcotic jihad” scare.

Kerala Congress (M) will play a crucial role in the Left’s latest foray into central Kerala.

Mr. Govindan said the CPI(M) would invite the public to protest against the Central government’s attempt to hobble Kerala financially.

He said the Centre had limited the State’s borrowing limit. It refused to extend GST compensation.

Moreover, the Centre used Central agencies to discredit and harass the KIIFB, the State’s prime vehicle for raising funds from the open financial market to furnish credit for infrastructure development projects. “No Central scheme is coming Kerala’s way,” he said.

In a bid to draw minorities and secular forces to the LDF fold, the CPI(M) will conduct a door-to-door campaign to organise resistance against the BJP’s purported move to introduce a patently anti-constitutional Uniform Civil Code to turn India into a “Hindu Rashtra”.

Mr. Govindan noted that the government effectively countered the Opposition move to capitalise on the anti-Vizhinjam port and anti-buffer zone agitations politically. The UDF and anti-communist media have run out ammunition to assail the LDF.

Mr. Govindan said the mistakes and shortcomings of CPI(M) members reflected severely on the party. Hence, it has issued a whip asking party cadres not to fall prey to “degenerate bourgeoise inclinations”, including corruption.

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