At 92, veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan is the face of the LDF campaign. He kicked off the Left front’s election campaign with a rally in Kasargode on April 20.
At 92, what makes you contest an election?
My presence in the electoral battle is necessary to defeat the corrupt government of Oomen Chandy in the state and the anti-people policies of Narendra Modi at the Centre. If these forces are not defeated in the elections, they will spoil all the gains Kerala made during the Left regime.
What is your prediction for the LDF?
We will get enough seats to form a government. Nothing less than 100 (out of 140 seats).
Do you think the BJP will open its account?
They may make gains here and there with the help of the Congress, but they won’t be able to make a statewide impact.
What will your role be after the elections? You are a popular choice for the CM’s post.
Yes, people want me to become the chief minister. But everything has to be decided by the party leadership and the LDF.
By party leadership you mean…
The central leadership of the CPI(M). Achuthanandan does not have a personal opinion on this.
In the last election, you created a wave by raising issues of the sex mafia and sex rackets. What are planning this time?
The corruption within the Oommen Chandy government. So far, Chandy has used his officials as a cover and has become arrogant despite these corruption charges. Chandy is under the impression that he can get away with corruption.
LDF’s critics say that you could not make any convincing case against Chandy in the solar scam, that the Opposition were merely repeating Saritha Nair’s allegations.
We have been demanding that Chandy should answer the issues raised by Saritha, that alone is enough. She had stated that Chandy had taken the money from her solar firm. Also, investors deposited their money with her firm only after Chandy convinced them their money would be safe. We will be convinced if Chandy simply answers Nair’s allegations.
Although you have made corruption a major electoral issue, you have failed to field strong candidates against Chandy, K Babu and K M Mani (UDF leaders accused of corruption).
The list (of candidates) is not perfect. There are differences of opinion about certain candidates. Those who have reposed faith in LDF have pointed out lapses in selecting the candidates. Such issues will be discussed after the elections.