All Kerala MPs on other side of Modi divide
Now that the dust has settled down after the Lok Sabha polls and the spotlight shifts to parliament, there is one thing you can certainly expect from the 20 MPs from Kerala -- not say 'aye' in favour of prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.
While the BJP was not able to open its account in the state in the recent election, the state returned eight Congressmen, five members of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), two Left-supported Independents and two from the India Union Muslim League, and one each from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Kerala Congress (Mani) and the CPI.
All of them are expected not to toe the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) line, if one takes their respective political leanings into account.
One feature of this group of 20 Kerala MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha is that pan-India political parties like the Communist Party of India (CPI) and RSP will have just the lone member each from the state.
The CPI-M will have five out of the nine Lok Sabha MPs from Kerala alone, while the Congress contingent of eight elected representatives from the state, will be the second biggest after the lot of nine from Karnataka.
When it comes to Independent legislators, of the three in the soon-to-convene lower house of parliament, two are from Kerala. While one is popular comedian and character artiste Innocent, who studied only up to Class VIII, the other is a lawyer, Joyce George. Both of them are debutants.
Speaking to IANS, N.K. Premachandran of the RSP, who beat CPI-M candidate and sitting legislator M.A. Baby from Kollam constituency said the group of 20 Kerala MPs comprises mostly seasoned politicians.
"To start with, it would be a wait and watch policy. One needs to assess the manner in which Modi would go about things as this is the first time he is going to work on a larger canvas and his federal polity skills will be closely watched," said Premachandran, a former state minister.
Yet another feature of the group of 20 MPs is that six of them have been federal ministers in the outgoing Lok Sabha. Kerala is the only state which has returned all its ministers in the election, where the Congress got an unprecedented drubbing.
Of the six others from the group of the Congress-led United Democratic Front camp, five were incumbent MPs.
The Left MPs from Kerala heading for the 16th Lok Sabha are an experienced lot too. Out of the eight elected, four have retained their seats, while CPI-M member P.K. Sreemathy is a former state minister and a party central committee member.
Speaking to IANS, CPI-M MP from Palakkad constituency M.B. Rajesh, who beat media baron and veteran Kerala politician M.P. Veerendra Kumar, said it is going to be a joint work for the development of Kerala.
"With no BJP member from Kerala, both in the lower and upper house, the responsibility rests with each of the 20 Lok Sabha and nine Rajya Sabha members to work together and stand united when it comes to issues concerning the state," said Rajesh.
(Posted on 19-05-2014)