As CPI(M) strong man Pinarayi Vijayan takes charge as the chief minister of Kerala, an unlikely parallel is being talked about.
The parallel is drawn between what transpired during the run up to the Lok Sabha election in 2014 and what is happening in Kerala for the past several months.
With all the national dailies painting their Delhi editions red on Wednesday, purportedly proclaiming the launch of a leader into the national orbit, the unlikely political parallel, skeptics say is becoming more obvious.
The parallel is between Narendra Modi and Pinarayi Vijayan.
Both leaders, though belonging to the diametrically opposite political philosophy, have carved a niche for themselves, not only within the party, but also outside, the two ideologically driven cadre parties.
Delhiites woke up in the morning to find their newspapers all washed in red. All the national dailies of import, has carried a front page advertisement by the public relations department of Kerala government. The full page ads reiterate the commitment of the new government to make Kerala a true God’s Own Country.
The communist parties have always talked of collective leadership and decisions. Going by the Marxist parlance the party is supreme and the individuals do not matter. But when a strong man like Pinarayi Vijayan, who led the CPI(M) in Kerala for 17 years comes to power, the party must have thought such dogmas can be overlooked, at least for now.
The advertisement says it is Pinarayi Vijayan government that is committed to fulfil the promises. Left parties do not have the practice of identifying their government with an individual.
During the 2014 national election, ‘Abki bar Modi Sarkar’ found resonance with a majority of voters across the country. The CPI(M) perhaps, for the first time, is taking about Pinarayi Vijayan government.
A good number of cadres of the CPI(M) and workers of other parties in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) were not happy when they faced the polls with the slogan ‘LDF Varum Ellam Sariyakum!’ (LDF will come, Everything will be OK!) because of the inherent apolitical message the slogan sought to disseminate.
Many Left sympathisers thought it was a take off on Modi’s ‘Achhe Din Aane Wala Hai’ slogan.
Politically, there is nothing to connect between Pinarayi Vijayan a die hard communist and Narendra Modi, a former RSS pracharak.
While the RSS in its core ideology carries all the necessary requisites of a strong (read autocratic) leader, the CPI(M)’s political practice and ideology never nurtures a larger than life leader who could dictate and control the party.
But the parallels are often drawn, not always from practice and ideology, but also from signals that is emanating from various quarters.