Thiruvananthapuram: Despite Congress-led
UDF in Kerala managing to wrest power from LDF with a slim
majority, outgoing Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, who helped
the combine regain much of the lost ground it lost in 2009 Lok
Sabha elections and civic polls last year, is seen as "the man
of the match", which has strengthened his position in CPI-M.
The veteran CPI-M leader, who set the agenda for the
polls by bringing issues like corruption and sex scandals to
sharp focus, had mounted a spirited campaign across the state
which was the single most factor that helped LDF to shore up
its sagging support base reflected in the 2009 Lok Sabha
In the process, he also won support and admiration of
all sections including women, youth, rights campaigners and
green groups, cutting across political divides.
Significantly, for the first time in the history of
the CPI-M in Kerala, the LDF candidates sought vote by putting
up posters showing them standing with Achuthanandan.
Though this "personality cult" created some murmurs
among sections in the party leadership, no one dared to come
out openly against it.
Before the state turned into the poll mode, the
situation was taken as hugely favourable for the UDF. Going by
the Lok Sabha and civic polls, the UDF tally was expected to
The situation was dramatically reversed by
Achuthanandan just three months ago by bringing to focus
issues like `ice cream parlour sex` case and corruption
following conviction of former state minister and KC(B) leader
R Balakrishna Pillai in a graft case, which he had
Though the rival faction in CPI-M led by state
secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had plans to retire the senior
leader, the turn of events in the last few months earned
tremendous grassroot support to Achuthanandan, which
ultimately compelled the party to go to the polls under his