The communist-led government in the Indian state of Kerala, began a two-week march throughout the region aimed at “exposing the anti-people policies of the Central government and hate politics practiced” by the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP.
Titled the Jana Jagratha Yathra, the rally is also serving to counter a “misinformation campaign” carried out by the BJP in the state earlier this week, which was called the Jana Raksha Yatra, according to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
“The provocative and lie-laden campaign certain Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of the BJP had carried out here (during the Yatra) was intended at disrupting the peaceful life of Kerala,” said Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post. “It was also a violation of the federal principles … With this, the double face and hypocrisy of the BJP have once again been unmasked.”
Jana Jagrata Yatra begins in Kerala against the anti people policies of the Central govt & violent tactics of the RSS-BJP combine in Kerala. pic.twitter.com/RndV0YpnOT— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) October 21, 2017
That event had seen BJP president Amit Shah challenge the CPI (M) to compete with his party on the issue of development in the state.
“We happily accept that challenge,” Vijayan responded. “Let Amit Shah make it clear whether any of the BJP-ruled States has made any progress that is comparable to the achievements made by Kerala.”
Indeed, for while India, under the leadership of BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, succumbs to “unbridled market fundamentalism,” authoritarianism and “minority-hating parochialism,” say the CPI (M), Kerala’s literacy, infant mortality, life expectancy and school enrollment rates are on par with the First World.
“Kerala has nothing to learn from such a BJP and the RSS which controls it,” the Chief Minister added. “That is why the Keralites have rejected the march that the BJP held with war cry and campaign of lies against this State.”
The march on Saturday began with the CPI (M) State Secretary Com. Kodiyeri Balakrishanan leading in the northern part of the state, while the south was headed by the CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran.
The CPI (M)’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government — a coalition of various communist and socialist groups in Kerala — is due to meet people over the course of two weeks by touring through all 140 constituencies in the state.
Since the LDF coalition government took office on May 25, 2016, lawmakers have put in place a number of progressive policies tackling issues ranging from racism, to labor rights and gender equality.
Under the CPI (M)’s governance Kerala has India’s highest literacy late at 93.9 percent and highest life expectancy rate at 77 years , giving it the best Human Development Index score at 0.712 in 2015.