LDF partners resist CPM hegemony; meet put off

via VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram-Daily Pioneer published on June 27, 2009

The defiant posture of the CPI(M) of enforcing its decisions unilaterally on the constituents of the ruling LDF in Kerala received yet another setback on Friday with the CPI and RSP sending the message to that party that they would not tolerate its hegemony any more.

The CPI forced LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, who was also a junior member of the CPI(M) central committee, to put off an LDF meeting scheduled to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday evening. The CPI move came after it was known that the CPI(M) had unilaterally extended special invitation to the Janata Dal (S) faction that opposed its State president MP Veerendrakumar to the LDF meeting.

Viswan’s version was that the meeting was being put off due to the inconvenience of the leaders of certain LDF partners but almost all the leaders of the constituents were in Thiruvananthapuram on Friay. Also, all the coalition partners had agreed to hold the meeting on Friday evening when they were informed of the schedule on Thursday.

The CPI pointed out that the Janata Dal (S) was not yet formally split and inviting one section alone to the LDF meeting in such a situation would amount to deliberate efforts to split that party. It was in this circumstance the CPI wanted to put off the much delayed post-poll LDF meeting. Some RSP leaders said that they shared the CPI’s sentiment.

The official leadership of the CPI(M), leader of the ruling Left front, had from the very beginning taken an antagonistic stand against Veerendrakumar and had even taken over its Kozhikode seat in the Lok Sabha election. When Janata Dal (S) MLAs Mathew T Thomas and Jose Thettayil took a pro-LDF stand in contrast to that of the Veerendrakumar faction, the CPI(M) had openly stated that they would continue in the LDF and one of them would be made a Minister.

Though the CPI or the RSP had not openly opposed the CPI(M)’s takeover of the Kozhikode seat but both the parties were not in agreement with that unilateral decision. CPI State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan had made his party’s stand on this clear on several occasions. A senior CPI leader charged the CPI(M) with treating the LDF as its private property, saying “the invitation given by Vaikom Viswan to one section of the Janata Dal (S) without any discussion is proof of this.”

The CPI had been sore at the way the CPI(M) was controlling the affairs within the LDF since the pre-election days. The Marxists had taken over the Ponnani seat, traditionally contested by the CPI unilaterally, had struck an alliance with Abdul Nasser Madani’s PDP without discussions in the LDF and had estranged Veerendrakumar much to the dislike of the constituents.

CPI sources said that they had not responded sharply to such unilateral actions then as it was the election time but the invitation extended to one section of the Janata Dal (S) proved that “the Marxists are not ready to give up their policy of playing the big brother”. A senior CPI leader said that this could not be tolerated anymore.

Sources in the CPI said they wanted an LDF meeting to be held as early as possible as the party had several issues to take up with the CPI(M), “but it is the duty of the Marxist party, as the leader of the front, to ensure that no such unilateral decisions are taken by anybody in the LDF.”

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