Why the left's resounding victory to be re-elected in Kerala is a watershed moment that will shape political landscape in Kerala and South India for the next decade?

A thread (1/n):
1. People Centric Governance:
Over the past 5 years, the CPM led government under @vijayanpinarayi focused its efforts around an array of projects across health, education, public distribution, infrastructure, digitization - all of which transcended class & caste strata
Life Mission - which built 2.5 lakh houses for poor, Extensive uplift of govt schools bringing massive inflow of students from private schools,
Upgrading district & taluk hospitals to super specialty,
Distribution of essential kits during Covid months - to name just a few.
2. Welfare Centric Campaign:
LDF realized the effectiveness and success of these projects, and doubled down upon them for its re-election campaign. Its 50-point manifesto not only built on the progress of existing projects, but also proposed radically forward looking ones
For example, one such project - K-FON - that promises universal free access to internet, recognizes that internet access is going to be a core driver of upward social mobility and jobs for people in this decade. Such a vision and pragmatism in policy is unseen anywhere else
LDF exclusively focused its campaign narrative on these developmental pillars, with slogans "Urappanu arogyam", "Urappanu parppidam"...etc. which meant "Assured health", "Assured housing" etc. The same were reinforced by its cadres through their house-to-house campaigning
Ironically, not only did the opposition completely forget the developmental agenda, but actively tried to derail the government efforts that benefitted people. Congress leader @chennithala went to High Court requesting to stop the distribution of essential food kits
While BJP leaders from the state leveraged central investigative agencies to tarnish and blockade initiatives such as Life Mission & KIIFB, Congress promised to scrap those projects, if they were to come in power. And all this was amplified by the state's main stream media
3. People Vote based on Experiences
However, they all overlooked the fact that people decide their votes primarily based on their life experiences and interactions, irrespective of the dominant media narrative - something @vijayanpinarayi has highlighted multiple times
LDF's 5 years of pro-people initiatives that touched lives and the Kerala-model that comes with it, would inevitably have a stronger influence on the electorate's mandate, than judgements ruled out from news room debates
4. Competent Leadership (and not just personality cult)
Times of crises are always the biggest tests of leadership (See Modi, Trump in Covid). Kerala witnessed many calamities one after another in the last 5 years - Two floods, Okhi cyclone, Nipah and the 2 Covid waves
However, the govt under the leadership of @vijayanpinarayi effectively mobilized the entire state machinery to not only mitigate the crises, but to learn and adapt from each of them. Lessons learnt from battling the Nipah virus helped it defend against Covid a year later.
@shailajateacher was able to quickly mobilize the state's healthcare system into battle-mode, while driving public awareness with equal rigour. In the meantime, CM @vijayanpinarayi held daily press conferences that allayed public fear and maintained high morale
This display of competency and organizational expertise, is what clearly differentiates Pinarayi Vijayan from the cults around Modi, Shah, Yogi and Rahul who also spent several days campaigning in Kerala, promising to make Kerala the next UP, Gujarat, Amethi and so on.
5. Firm Rejection of Communal Forces:
Unlike most of India, Kerala has a long history of foreign trade, which brought in a tradition of tolerance and pluralism. This was further strengthened by several decades of secular politics that drove its post-independence history
Although the RSS has been able to make inroads into some pockets of the state, the overwhelming majority of the people are unequivocal in their rejection of BJP's Hindutva agenda. Congress blindly took a Hindutva stance this time with its campaign's focus on Sabarimala
However, this only ended up being counterproductive for them, with its secular and minority base moving to the LDF camp, and Hindutva supporters upgrading themselves to the BJP camp, ultimately resulting in their collapse.
On the other hand, LDF gained handsomely across the state for its vocal opposition of Hindutva and commitment to secularism. Overall, this serves as a testimony towards Hindutva-brand of politics having no space or future in Kerala
6. Decentralized and Grassroots Reach
CPIM's dedicated grassroots cadre spread out across every single village of Kerala helps it stay close with the people and understand the psyche of all segments of people. This reach helps it to adopt a bottom-up style of policy making
At the same time, they also address those needs of the common man that are often beyond the reach of state machinery - through blood donation drives, supply of free meals at govt hospitals, etc. that are prevalent across all districts of the state.
LDF's grassroots expertise also extends to its consistently superior performance in the Local Bodies - panchayat, taluk and district governments - which really are the backbone of the Kerala Model. In fact, many LDF MLA candidates in this election came from these bodies
Finally, 7. Being Receptive to the Public:
LDF Government has been proactive at communicating the progress in campaign promises to the public through 4 progress reports published over the 5 years of its rule, listing the completion and status of various projects promised
@vijayanpinarayi held countless televised live press conferences which also served as a forum of public audit of the government. At the same time, the government showed no reluctance to correct itself in times of valid criticism
In Nov 2020, the Govt amended the Kerala Police Act with the intention of curbing cyberharassment on women. However, after citizens raised concerns around the possible misuse of the amendment, the law was withdrawn. Such mature handling of criticism is what enrich policies
All these aspects are fairly evident to anyone observing the political discourse here over the past few years and the historical re-election of the Left in Kerala.

And hopefully, political actors across parties would heed attention to them, in the decades to come.

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