Ahead of the ongoing campaigning for the Kerala Assembly polls, all major parties are knee-deep in internal troubles over their announcement of the candidate lists. The Communist Party of India is no different in this scenario. Accusing the party's state secretary Kanam Rajendran as being an autocratic leader, Alappuzha district council member and former district panchayat vice president Thambi Mettuthara has resigned from the party.
In his resignation letter, he alleged that many of his colleagues had been hunting him for a while, and the party leadership was neither ready to discuss it nor take any action. He also added that Kanam Rajendran was acting like an autocratic leader within the party and that CPI was acting as CPM’s B Team. According to sources, Thambi was one of the three people considered for Haripad before R Sajilal was selected. Reportedly, Thambi will contest as a Bharath Dharma Jana Sena candidate — Thushar Vellappally-led BDJS is BJP’s biggest ally in the NDA in Kerala — in the upcoming election in Kuttanad.
However, this is not limited to CPI in Alappuzha, as the CPM lost one of its senior members to BDJS. TS Jyothis, who has been with the party for almost 30 years and had been a prominent member in the local administration, quit the party and joined the BDJS to be its Haripad candidate. In an interview, he alleged the party of not tapping into the youngsters within the party. “The party doesn’t care about its young or hardworking members, and instead of tapping into that potential, the leadership snubs them out. I believe the party is stuck inside a caucus/mafia that determines its actions,” he said.
This interesting transfer also happens within the alliance. CPM gave Piravom to Jose K Mani’s Kerala Congress (M), and the latter chose the former’s member Sindhumol Jacob as its candidate. A Youth Front member alleged that it was a payment seat, but the CPM rushed into the scene to oust Sindhumol for “anti-party activity”. However, the party cadre asks how they can support someone who has been ousted from the party since that would amount to going against the party.
Save CPI posters emerged in Paravur after reports of payment seats were echoed throughout the constituency. The posters alleged that Ernakulam CPI Secretary P Raju took money from his opponents to betray the left front by placing a weak candidate. The posters were discovered in Ezhikkara, Vadakkekara, and Thuruthippuram. The dissenting voices demanded ousting Raju, and placing a stronger candidate in Paravur, especially since they were going Congress’ VD Satheesan who had been winning there since 2001.
Chadayamangalam in Kollam is another sore spot for the party as the local committee members and leaders have vehemently opposed J Chinjurani’s candidature, causing fallout within the party. The local members are on the verge of fielding local leader A Mustafa as an independent rebel candidate, while the state leadership is trying their best to talk this out. However, Chinjurani claims that the party would stand together to fight the elections, and any disagreements within the leadership will be solved through discussions. The state committee member and Mahila Sangham president also opined that the party could have included more women in their candidate list, which the party leadership had admitted to recently.