Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Priority is to ensure defeat of BJP; no compromise with Congress: TN CM Pinarayi Vijayan

BJP is not going to win even a single seat in Kerala, they're not even going to come second anywhere. There is no question of any compromise with anyone.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 03:00 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 03:00 IST

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterates that even though the priority is to defeat the BJP, there will be no compromise with the Congress. In an interview with DH's Arjun Raghunath, he continues his tirade against the Congress alleging that party leaders from Kerala made sure that the AICC was not part of the joint stir initiated by Kerala against the BJP government at the Centre.

What is the CPM's priority —winning maximum seats for the Left Front or ensuring BJP's defeat?

Our priority is clear. It is to defeat the BJP and significantly strengthen the Left's representation in Parliament so that the dispensation at the Centre can be made sensitive to the aspirations of the people and the needs of the country. BJP is not going to win even a single seat in Kerala, they're not even going to come second anywhere. There is no question of any compromise with anyone.

Is it not true that the CPM and Congress are falling into the BJP trap to trigger communal debates rather than development issues?

When lies are being spread in the garb of art and even state agencies are peddling such propaganda, it is our duty as responsible citizens to call them out and affirm the truth. When communalism is at the centre stage of campaigns, we are standing against it. At the same time, we have also been highlighting the issues related to the lives and livelihoods of the people. It is the media that is not highlighting it enough. We have been constantly speaking about Kerala's development, highlighting our achievements over the last eight years alongside exposing those who have tried to stall Kerala's progress.

Do you find any positive aspects in the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, at least with regards to their pro-development agenda?

All such projects came to fruition because of the initiatives the state government has taken since the LDF came to power in 2016. There can be no meaningful development unless the union and the states work together. You should note that Kerala is the only state which has paid for land acquisition for NH development. It also needs to be noted that the interventions of the state government in overcoming several hurdles played a seminal role in realising projects like the GAIL pipeline and the Power Highway.

The LDF government often took the initiative in resisting various moves by the Centre against the non-BJP ruling states. Are you getting the expected support from other non-BJP-ruled states?

As you might have seen during our Delhi protest, states like J&K, Delhi, Punjab and Tamil Nadu joined hands with us. It is the Congress in Kerala with their myopic view that is preventing their AICC leaders and others from joining us in this fight. However, as they too are bearing the brunt of the union's anti-state policies, ultimately Congress leaders from Karnataka had to openly state that ours is a just fight.

While NDA is projecting Modi as its undisputed leader, I.N.D.I.A bloc is not able to project a PM candidate. Your thoughts?

Pointing to so and so and saying that he or she is the undisputed leader, is an autocratic tendency. India is a democracy and in much of India's history as a democracy, parties have gone into elections recounting what they have done so far and promising what they will do in the future. Does the BJP have the courage to talk about what they have done over the last 10 years on core issues they had spoken about in the run-up to the 2014 elections? Will they open their mouths about black money, inflation, the price rise, prices of petrol/diesel/LPG, US Dollar vs INR, employment, women's security, etc. now? That is the real setback. But instead of discussing that, even the media is going behind the agenda set by the BJP.

Do you think Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from Kerala will help the Congress repeat the 2019 performance?

Not a chance. He will be evaluated solely for his 'non-performance' as an MP. People of Wayanad are miffed with him for not opening his mouth about issues that mattered to them the most like farm laws, human-wildlife conflict, UAPA, NIA, CAA, etc.

What are your expectations on the number of seats that the LDF, UDF and NDA will win in Kerala?

The LDF is hopeful of a sweeping victory across the state. Nowhere is an exception to this general trend, which is overwhelmingly evident all over the state. Those who objectively assess the situation can in no way ignore this reality. NDA will face a total rout.

Do you consider the outcome of election in Kerala an evaluation of your government's performance?

The people of Kerala have already evaluated the LDF government's performance in 2021, and you know what the verdict was. Lok Sabha elections are always evaluations of the performance of the union government. The people of Kerala will make sure that they do not approve of the current regime at the Centre, not even one bit.

Published 24 April 2024, 03:00 IST

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