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In Kerala, the politics of identity and BJP’s rise will affect UDF and LDF

It is in this political landscape that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as a significant force over the last decade (PTI) The slogan of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, in this election, is urappaanu LDF (LDF for sure). As of now, the LDF indeed seems set to retain power, thanks to its relatively positive governance record. If this happens, it will mark a new turn in politics in a state which has traditionally alternated between the Marxist-led LDF and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) for the last 40 years. A change in this voting pattern will impact social and communitarian life in Kerala.

Traditionally, the Left has been supported by the Nairs, Ezhavas, Dalits and some of the economically backward communities and groups, cutting across religious lines. The UDF has relied on a coalition of the economically powerful Syrian Christians, Muslims and a section of the Nairs. Beneath the veneer of a progressive political ethic are religious sentiments, which often decide voting patterns.

In the past, the church has had an uneasy relationship with what it considered a godless Left. However, a few decades ago, the Left’s animosity towards the Christian community shifted to the […]

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