Veerendrakumar against Pinarai Vijayan ; Kozhikode seat a Payment Seat!

published on March 31, 2009

CPM struggling hard
www.expressbuzz.com

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A ‘hate Pinarayi’ campaign launched by Pinarayi’s opponents in the CPM along with the UDF and BJP is causing headache to the CPM as the first round of campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls comes to an end.

The CPM is struggling hard to put up a defense against a number of allegations levelled against the official leadership of the party in general and its state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in particular. The latest is the payment seat controversy triggered by Janata Dal(Secular) state president M.P. Veerendrakumar on Monday.

Veerendrakumar, who was denied the Kozhikode seat, has alleged that Mohammed Riyas was given the seat on a payment basis and the payment had been made by controversial businessman Pharris Aboobaker.

This allegation levelled by the state leader of a Third Front constituent will give the CPM the worst headache this poll season. The prepoll alliance with the PDP engineered by Pinarayi Vijayan is another major issue which has put the CPM in the defensive mode.

“It is so sad that in each and every meeting, we have to spend minutes to clarify the party’s position on Madhani. Then there will be only a little time to mention the real issues,’’ said a cultural leader who is campaigning for the LDF.

The magnitude of the issue is visible if we watch any of the television shows which feature major candidates in a constituency. From Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram, the LDF candidates have to spend most of the time explaining the party’s stand on PDP and Madhani.

When the Lavalin graft case in which the CPM state secretary is the ninth accused was almost forgotten by the media and the people, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan infused new life to it by making his stand on the issue clear.

Achuthanandan’s position is harder than that of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala and the UDF had rightly picked up the point from there.

The UDF is planning to focus its campaign on Lavalin case and communal appeasement by the CPM in the coming days. The payment seat controversy will also be picked up by the UDF.

On the other hand, the LDF is not in a position to gain mileage out of any of the key issues which the Left parties have taken up at the national level. The allegation of corruption of Rs 600 crore over the missile deal won’t be used by the party as a major campaign issue here as party strategists feel that it may backfire by reminding the public about the Lavalin case.

The LDF can’t boast about the Third Front as the voters will then ask on the strained ties with the Janata Dal(S) in the State.

The only hope the CPM keeps is on young candidates at Kannur, Kozhikode, Alathur, Palakkad, Ernakulam and Attingal who, the party feels, can win votes with their charisma.

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