“To be a good human being you need to be a Hindu, says BJP but that does not work in Kerala”, this is the quote by state’s former finance minister and Central committee member of the CPM, TM Thomas Issac. In an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Issac did acknowledge the kind of social churning which Kerala society is undergoing but he said that the cultural ethos was not in favour of BJP. Giving 80 to 100 seats to the LDF, Issac dismissed reports of ego tussle between the party stalwart 92 year old VS Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan and said the mood is in favour of the Left front-led LDF. Clearing the air on the liquor policy in Kerala, he said that the state was earning 800 crore out of liqour but his party favours abstention.
You can watch the entire interview Thursday at 1pm and 5.30 pm on Rajya Sabha TV
Q) There is lot of positivity about Left in Kerala. How many seats are you expecting?
Left will win 80-100 seats. Yes, that is true that the real mood of the people is with the left front-led LDF.
Q) Do you think corruption is a big issue because Chief Minister Chandy says people are not bothered about corruption, but want development?
Corruption is our main election issue. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Congress-led UPA lost because of corruption. Though former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh believed in development, his party lost because of the scams.
Q) What is Left’s main agenda going to be if you form the government?
If you look at the past performance of Left governments in Kerala, they all promoted education. Left must strive to meet challenges once again. Equitable growth is Left’s agenda. Income distribution is the game changer and the LDF government will provide quality life and rights to individuals.
Q) There is an ego tussle between Achutanandan and P. VIjayan. Who will be the CM if LDF wins?
People want CPM govt in Kerala. Though there was an ego conflict present in party, it has taken a backseat. The central leadership will take a call as to who will be the Chief Minister.
Q) How does the entry of BJP change the game in politics of Kerala?
RSS is strong in Kerala but the cultural ethos is not in BJP’s favour. LDF is strongly opposed to the BJP’s caste politics.
Q) Across the country we see that Dalit forces are coming together. Is this the new way forward for Left?
Dalits are the most-oppressed class and Left must take forward social reforms. Dalits expect Left to deliver social justice.
Q) Your stand on Liqour is not clear?
State gets Rs 800 crore revenue from the sale of liquor. Drinking alcohol is worst social vice. Left parties favour abstention and wants people to drink less.