“UDF’s performance in this election was quite disappointing and unexpected. This has boosted the morale of the LDF. At a time when the government is being scrutinised by the media, LDF’s victory is also unexpected,” said by Dr Gopakumar, former Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Kerala and advisor to CPPR. He was speaking at a Facebook live discussion “Decoding the Polls” hosted by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) on December 17, 2020, analysing Kerala’s evolving political landscape in the light of the recent local body election results.
Prof. K. C. Abraham., Academic Director, CPPR stated “Congress’s weaknesses were visible in this election.” By pointing to the people giving their votes for the work that the government has done so far, he also added “This wave might not last till the next Assembly election.” He was amazed at the effect that the Kerala Congress Mani group had in this election. He also added “BJP’s performance didn’t reach as expected considering what they have done and said before the elections, and this is surprising for me”. Having said that, he also added, “Congress is going through a bad stage and probably BJP will utilise this as a chance to strengthen the party.”
Speaking at the live session, Dr Dhanuraj, Chairman CPPR, commented on the weak leadership that has been exposed in this election. “The weakness of the UDF and KPCC is especially exposed during this election. They were unable to influence the people as much as they wanted,”he added.
The panel later discussed further steps that had to be taken by the political parties in order to tackle the upcoming elections. Dr. Gopakumar commented on the goodwill and the image that the Left government had made by effectively handling the COVID-19 crisis, and he said “ If they keep up this momentum, the Left can win the upcoming elections”. While analysing the current political scenario,he pointed at the leadership crisis that the Congress is facing now and added that it is going to be a tough journey ahead for the Congress.
The discussion also delved into the media’s handling of the controversies and rumours during this election. To a question raised by Goutham K. A., Project Associate, CPPR, on the effect of media during this election, Dr Gopakumar pointed at the credibility of media in bringing out news. He also added, “Each media organisation has its own politics. Now, social media has become a substitute for the mainstream media. We don’t know if all the controversies are true. But they have not influenced the election.”
Answering to the question, Abraham K. C. made his point that “Some of the private media houses are bringing out fabricated news and compared to them national media like DD news is still more culturally rich. They only show official news.” Dr Dhanuraj brought in a very interesting insight about the advantage the government was able to get during this election with the help of the media. He said, “The pandemic has helped the government to a certain extent. People were listening to the Chief Minister’s daily press conference. This has helped the media to increase their TRP rate and at the same time helped the CM to use the media for 6 months of political campaigning.”
The discussion was moderated by Goutham K. A., Project Associate, CPPR.
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