Crisis moment for CPM as rebels get mightier than party

via Daily Pioneer - VR Jayaraj | Palakkad published on December 17, 2008



The
official CPI(M) leadership in Kerala fell into a severe crisis of
strength and confidence with the rebels who went out of the party after
a protracted political mutiny punched it flat on the election arena by
defeating eight of the nine official party candidates in the by-polls
held to the small municipal council of Shoranur in Palakkad district.

The
humiliating defeat of party candidates in the hands of unassuming
rebels has ended the three-decade-old Left rule in the municipality but
more than that the by-poll results indicate that rebels are more
powerful – in number and values – than the official party in the
grassroots level. Even senior party functionaries fear that the
weakness of the party just played out in the Shoranur municipality is
an indicator of the state of affairs in several areas.

After
the by-poll results were out MR Murali, the architect and lead crusader
of the war against the CPI(M) in Shoranur, and in general in the entire
Palakkad, perhaps the only district in Kerala where Marxian class
distinctions were still applicable, said, “This is a blow to the people
have dealt to the CPI(M) leaders for their totalitarian attitude and
mafia culture.” This opinion is shared by rebels of the party in many
areas in Kerala like Onchiyam and Kunnamangalam in Kozhikode district,
Ottapalam in Palakkad district, Kodungallur and Nattika in Thrissur
district and several other areas in southern Kerala.

Murali, who
had remained a CPI(M) worker for over three decades and had given
himself over to the party, became a pain in the official leadership’s
neck after he began to question the leaders’ corrupt ways of making
money using the power in the Shoranur municipality and political
influence in Ottapalam area and in entire Palakkad district, with the
heart-felt blessings of the neo-liberalist Kerala leadership headed by
State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

As the oppositions by Murali,
then vice-chairman of the municipality, to the corruption in urban
development affairs became intolerable, the party district leadership
asked him to resign from his municipal post, which the man rejected.
Left with no other option to save its means for corruption, the
district leadership on the recommendation of the Ottapalam area
committee expelled Murali and some of his companions from the party.

Following
this, Murali resigned from vie-chairmanship and also his membership in
the municipality. Eight other councilors followed suit, and relying on
their local support, they floated a new regional outfit, Janakeeya
Vikasana Samtihi. Shocked by the popularity his outfit was getting,
assailants sent by the official party leadership attacked Murali, but
he escaped.

The defeat the CPI(M) met in Shoranur on Wednesday
was just one symptom of a devastating disease the party had contracted,
even certain party leaders admit. The one man who must be laughing now
at the debacle faced by the official leadership

Crisis moment for CPM as rebels get mightier than party

could
be Polit Bureau member and Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, arch enemy
of Pinarayi. Murali and his companions, like the rebels in Onchiyam,
Kunnamangalam, Nattika and Kodungallur, were being hunted by the
official leadership only because they were people who stood by the
ideals and programmes Achuthanandan advocated.

Still, the
CPI(M) leadership is not ready to admit that the defeat in Shoranur is
the direct result of the culture of divisionism flourishing in the
party. According to the leadership, what was seen in Shoranur was the
sign of a coming-together of all anti-communist forces (even when
Murali and the rebels of other places would vouch that they were the
real CPI(M)).

The fact is that in all the many areas where
rebel menace has shown its head, the party deserters have already
become stronger than the CPI(M). “If an election is held now to Eramala
panchayat (under Onchiyam area), the party would face a worse defeat
than it just had in Shoranur,” said a rebel leader in Orkatteri, who
was expelled from CPI(M) for “anti-party” activities which simply meant
pro-Achuthanandan posture. It is nothing less than a de-facto split.

The
writing on the wall for the CPI(M) at the present juncture is clear: It
will have to face a horrible outcome in the coming Lok Sabha polls in
Kerala if it went on putting the monetary whims and hegemonic attitude
above the political programmes. As a mater of fact, not even a single
district in Kerala is free from rebel trouble and all such areas might
just act the way Shoranur did in Tuesday’s by-polls.

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