Factionalism raises its head in Kerala CPI-M as pressure mounts on CM Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 24 (IANS): After two decades when factionalism raised its head in the Kerala unit of the CPI-M, and the then state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan put it to rest by successfully sidelining the more acceptable and popular V.S. Achuthanandan, now things appear not that rosy for the former.

Vijayan has been having a hugely successful quarter of a century at the helm of affairs, first at the party and then in the government but his position now appears shaky.

Generally, it’s the state secretary and the party that has an iron grip over the government, whenever the CPI-M runs the government, but ever since Vijayan took over as Chief Minister, he has been the final word in both the party and the government.

But murmurs began ever since his second term was mired by massive allegations against Vijayan’s daughter -- Veena’s deals which her IT company Exalogic was indulging in and now it has turned into a full-blown controversy after numerous national agencies are scrutinising its dubious deals.

When the agencies were on the prowl and all attempts by the party, government and Veena to douse the allegations that surfaced came to nought, the massive drubbing Vijayan suffered in the Lok Sabha polls turned a nightmare for him.

As the district committees like Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Ernakulam and Kannur of the ruling party, after taking stock of the poll debacle pointed fingers at the manner in which Vijayan was running the show, things are getting tough for Vijayan.

After the recent five-day party meetings concluded that the style of Vijayan has to change, came the news of veteran party leader P. Jayarajan, who openly stated that the fielding of its sitting legislator and former Health Minister K.K. Shailaja from the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat had other meanings too, pointing fingers at Vijayan.

Already there was talk that she was the ideal choice when 79-year-old Vijayan who has health issues decides to reduce his burden.

This talk has now gained traction that Vijayan who has given huge importance to his young son-in-law -- State Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas, purposely fielded Shailaja from Vadakara and now that she has lost the polls, Riyas can be given more responsibilities.

What has now bothered Vijayan, is the manner in which Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at the peak of his political career when he was the state secretary a few years back, decided to take leave from the post after two of his son’s dubious business deals became big news.

The talk in the party circles now is, since Kodiyeri to bring credence went on leave after allegations surfaced, Vijayan also can emulate Kodiyeri, taking into account the larger interest of the CPI-M.

Already fissures have developed in the ruling Left, when the allies -- the CPI and the RJD have openly called for a change in the style of Vijayan and now with four district CPI-M committees expressing displeasure, all eyes are on the upcoming central committee and politburo meetings which are set to begin on June 28.

General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri has already pointed that out all aspects will be discussed, as the party at this juncture just cannot afford any sort of factionalism to raise its head.



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Title: Factionalism raises its head in Kerala CPI-M as pressure mounts on CM Vijayan

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