Neyyattinkara MLA Selvaraj resigns;One more minority leader bid goodbye to CPI-M.

via http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/Selvaraj-parts-ways-with-CPM-Big-gain-for-UDF-pain-for-LDF/articleshow/12204035.cms published on March 10, 2012

Selvaraj, who is a Nadar Christian, is the fifth minority leader who bid goodbye to the CPM. Since 2009, A P Abdullakutty, K S Manoj, Sindhu Joy and Manjalamkuzhy Ali broke their ties with the party.Dalit leader S Sivaran, ex-MP, also left the party in this period.

Drawing inspiration from Marxist fellow traveller and dissident intellectual M N Vijayan, R Selvaraj, CPM MLA representing Neyyattinkara, turned his “resignation (into) a political activity”. Selvaraj’s unexpected move on Friday caught the CPM entirely on the wrong foot and the party expelled him later in the day after a hurriedly convened district secretariat meeting. The formalities of Selvaraj’s resignation were completed on Friday with the Speaker accepting it and the notification was issued by evening. With Selvaraj’s resignation, the LDF tally in the Assembly was reduced to 67 against the UDF’s 71.

Cashing in on the crisis, the UDF took up the issue as a poll plank in the crucial byelection in Piravom. KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala, campaigning in Piravom, ridiculed CPM’s claims to protect the people of the state when it couldn’t ‘protect’ its own MLA. On its part, the CPM alleged that the Selvaraj episode involved horse trading orchestrated directly by the chief minister.

Selvaraj, a second-time MLA, has been a popular leader in Parassala and Neyyattinkara from where he was elected in 2006 and 2011.

As a strong leader from the Nadar community which has considerable clout in the southern Kerala, Selvarj beat senior Congress leader Thampanoor Ravi by a margin of 6,702 votes in Neyyattinkara from where Ravi had been elected thrice. His down-to-earth manners and initiative in solving local issues earned him support cutting across party lines. But since the last election he had been at loggerheads with the CPM leadership.

The district CPM leadership had accused Selvaraj of engineering the defeat of senior leader Anavoor Nagappan in Parassala. Several of Selvaraj’s followers under the Parassala area committee of the CPM were either demoted or suspended from the party on charges of defeating Nagappan. However, Selvaraj was spared because the party couldn’t afford to displease an MLA in a House where a thin margin separated the two fronts.

“The defeat of the LDF candidate in Parassala was caused by mistrust of voters and discontent among party workers. The party has been haunting me for that,” Selvaraj told reporters after his resignation. He also levelled serious allegations against the CPM district and state leadership. “The CPM district leadership is under the control of mafia gangs and power brokers,” he said. “With the last state conference, whatever little chance remained to salvage the party has been lost.”

Selvaraj’s resignation has once again raised the question of CPM’s attitude towards minorities. Selvaraj, who is a Nadar Christian, is the fifth minority leader who bid goodbye to the CPM. Since 2009, A P Abdullakutty, K S Manoj, Sindhu Joy and Manjalamkuzhy Ali broke their ties with the party. Dalit leader S Sivaran, ex-MP, also left the party in this period.

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