Now CPM wooing church

published on June 29, 2009

War within hots up
By S Chandrasekhar @

If there has been any beneficiary of the decade-old war between VS Atchudanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, it is the airline companies. Crores have been spent by the CPM and Kerala government for frequent trips to Delhi for central committee and politburo meets and Prakash Karat’s numerous trips to native Kerala, but without any result. Karat’s plight is pitiable. Like a referee in a boxing ring, he gets hit by both. Now that his role as a kingmaker and Third Front creator has been severely cut short, it would be better if he stays in Kerala and manages these warring antagonists. The party and state can save heavily on airline tickets and Karat can enjoy the rains and beauty of his native state.

With the CBI filing a charge sheet against CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the Rs. 337 crore SNC-Lavlin scam, in the CBI court, Kochi, and the court asking him for personal appearance on September 24, the VS-Pinarayi war has further intensified. The Chief Minister VS justified the action of Governor RS Gavai sanctioning the prosecution, stating Governors have discretionary powers and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Irked by this, six ministers, including Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, met at AKG Centre (CPM headquarters) and informed that they are unwilling to function under traitor VS, thereby throwing to winds the constitutional obligation of collective responsibility. The CPM even threatened to drag the Governor to the court.

But the Pinarayi-backed bravado fizzled out, since allies CPI, RSP, etc ruled out anti-VS moves and a legal war against the Governor. The CPI and RSP, which are licking the wounds of back-stabbing by Pinarayi, are unwilling to abandon VS and embrace Pinarayi. They ruled out any change of chief ministership.

The Pinarayi-dominated CPM did not invite VS to the 100th birth anniversary fete of EMS Namboothiripad held at his native place in Perinthalmanna, Malappuram. Karat, who attended the meet, backed Pinarayi in the SNC-Lavlin scam. VS has become persona non grata to CPM and Pinarayi.

The politburo and central committee, which met at Delhi recently to discuss the electoral reverses, didn’t discuss the SNC-Lavlin scam and Kerala war due to the Lalgarh attacks. But at the central committee, several members including Finance Minister Thomas Issac, Ministers PK Sreemathi, MA Baby and others called for throwing out VS calling him a burden on the CPM!

The CPM politburo is to meet in the first week of July to discuss Kerala. But any harsh decision is elusive. Removing Pinarayi from the state secretary’s chair is impossible since the entire party set-up in Kerala is dominated by him. Removing VS is also impossible since he has the backing of the people and the allies. So this drama of an endless war and PB meets will continue till 2011, when CPM will be routed in assembly polls.

In 1959, the EMS-led first democratically elected communist regime was dismissed by Nehru due to the liberation struggle organised by the church. Speaking at the golden jubilee function of the struggle at Angamally, where seven Christians were shot dead in 1959, Archbishop Mar Powathil said the dictatorial CPM should learn from its humiliating electoral defeat. He added that the defeat was the reward for its bid to take over Christian educational institutions and its lopsided education policy. Archbishop Mar Varkey Vithayathil stated that the CPM’s defeat was a ‘silent’ second liberation struggle.

Convinced that it cannot survive in Kerala without the support of the 45 per cent strong Muslim/Christian population of the state, the CPM has sent strong feelers to the church. It has stated that it is willing for an open dialogue to settle all issues and clearing doubts. It has also stated that it is not against any religion and that it values individual faith and sentiments.

What a change of heart by the CPM, which expelled the Hindu commies for going to Sabarimala pilgrimage! Or is this change only applicable for getting back Christian and Muslim votes? Opportunism and vote-bank politics, thy name is CPM!

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