CPM group war resurfaces; MR Murali defies party order

via Pioneer News Service | Palakkad published on June 20, 2008

Proving the claims that the faction war in the CPI(M) had ended with the party’s State conference in Kottayam, cries of mutiny rose on Friday in the Palakkad unit of the party with MR Murali, a known loyalist of Polit Buro member and Chief Minister VS Achuhtanandan defied an order from the district committee to resign from the post of vice-chairman of the Shoranur Municipal Council.

“I don’t see this order as one coming from the CPI(M). It is part of an effort that a corruption-ridden section has been making to destroy some of us personally. As a man with self-respect and as a communist I am not resigning. I will resign the moment the people term me and my colleagues corrupt,” he told newsmen here on Friday. Nine councillors of the municipality, who are with the vice-chairman, also took part in the Press conference.

With this, the publicised claims of the reformist faction in the party led by State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan that there was no group war in the party has been proven wrong. Murali, one of the most articulate leaders in the Achuthanandan camp, with NN Krishnadas, S Ajayakumar, PA Gokuldas, etc, had been in the viewfinder of the official faction for quite sometime. He had met several disciplinary measures as well for the same reason.

Murali said he would not resign as he did not honour the directive from the district committee, which had issued it on a proposal from the Shoranur local committee, which is dominated by the Pinarayi faction. He told The Pioneer that he would not leave on his own but the councillors who wanted him out could go for a no-trust motion. “Let those who want me out do that. We can face the challenges being made by the local leadership which is in the habit of solving problems with the help of hired hoodlums,” he said. In the 30-member Shoranur Municipal Council, the CPI(M) has 22 members and nine among them are with Murali. The Marxist party side would not dare to go for a no-trust vote because it is bound to lose it if the UDF members stay with Murali and his men, seeing the advantage. If such a combination takes place, the CPI(M) could lose power in the municipality.

Murali stated that the Pinarayi faction in the Shoranur local committee had worked to defeat KE Ismail, LDF’s CPI candidate in Ottapalam constituency in the last Assembly elections. He told The Pioneer that the official faction had diverted more than 500 party votes from the box of Ismail.

Murali said that the people behind the present developments were M Hamza, CPI(M)’s MLA from Ottapalam and those who acted as his slaves, who were determined to destroy him and his colleagues personally. “As a man who keeps some self-respect, I am not ready to surrender to the moves of some leaders who would pawn the party for personal needs,” he said.

The VS faction leader, who had earlier functioned as a district committee member of the party, DYFI State vice-president and central committee member, had been removed from all these capacities due to the faction fight in the organisation. The present demand from the district committee for Murali’s resignation follows the allegation that he had spoken against the leaders of the official faction in the matter of the construction of an overbridge at Nedungottur. At a speech, Murali had openly stated that the Sahoranur Municipal chairman and his companions had committed corruption in the construction.

Asked how long Murali and his men could hold out against the official party leadership in the issue, he said they were not afraid of the machinations of “some people who take money for destroying the party”. He said they had started to work in the CPI(M) well aware of the risks involved. “They might even send ‘quotation teams against us’. But we are not afraid of that,” he said. “The Central and State committees of the party would soon understand that we are right,” he added.

Palakkad district had seen intense group was right from the stage of the branch conferences of the party in September last in preparation for the State meet in Kottayam. Even before that, the reformist faction had successfully demoted VS-group leaders in the district, NN Krishanadas and others.

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