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Litmus test for CPM
In My View

Litmus test for CPM

P.C. Punnen

The media has it that Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the CPM Kerala general secretary, will have to explain a lot to the people of Kerala. Yes, it is true and right. The earlier Kodiyeri tells the masses of Kerala, the workers and supporters of his party what his stand is regarding the case against his son Binoy Kodiyeri, the better for him. The case follows a woman lodging a complaint against Binoy accusing him of rape and cheating. The woman says a child born to her is his and he used to send a lot of money to her till recently and had also rented a house for her living.

It's a serious charge. Binoy and the woman have agreed to undergo a DNA test. Binoy says she has been blackmailing him. The Mumbai police have come to Kannur but they have not been successful in contacting Binoy. He's absconding they say and Binoy is set to file a case in Mumbai seeking exemption of his arrest.

The CPM Politburo has said it's a matter between two individuals and they being not members of the CPM, there is no justification in crying for Kodiyeri's blood. Strictly speaking it is true but the image of the party will suffer and it will be such that the party cannot bear. For in the recent election the party had lost miserably. Its candidates were good but it lost people's trust and votes.

Rahul Gandhi's entry into Kerala elections seemed to have changed people's minds. They thought the Congress will win the Indian election and Rahul would become the PM. But that did not happen. People have dreams and they are entitled to it. That has given the opposition, especially the Congress, high hopes for Kerala's coming election. The BJP has been able to win only less than 1 percent more votes in the election compared to what they got in the last election. Their blistering campaign and recently formed alliance with PC George did not make any difference. The BJP candidate lost miserably in George's assembly seat. Even in Kanjirapally the BJP failed to get sufficient votes to boast of its strength.

In a short time Kerala is going to see elections in six assembly seats because of the death of the Kerala Congress Chairman and the victory of Congressmen and one CPM man in the Lok Sabha elections. These elections will be a pointer to the people's mood.  Whether they still have hopes on Rahul Gandhi and the Congress or can the BJP ever make inroads in Assembly seats? I guess the people's verdict will be different from their votes in the Parliament elections.

To uphold the image of the party and moral values Kodiyeri should resign from his post till his son's involvement or innocence is proved in court. If he does, it would do the party good. He being party secretary is, technically, above that of the Chief Minister within the party.

During EMS's time the party was headed by Govindan Nair whom the western media during the time of the Congress led Vimochanana Samaram called Kerala Khrushchev. EMS and Govindan Nair had differences but they never made it public. It was settled in the party forums. Kodiyeri having gained that top position unfortunately has sons who are lowering his standing in the party. That is a tragedy of Kerala one can say. How did Binoy get such a lucrative job in the Gulf? That remains a mystery. The less said the better.

The same can be said about an MLA of the CPM who had been suspended from the party for six months. Now he is back with a bang. The case against him was a charge levelled by a woman CPM activist.

This reminds one of the previous happenings and how the parties reacted to it. For example there was a police firing at Angamaly where a Christian woman was shot dead. That was the time of the Vimochana Samaram . The minister under EMS, Achutha Menon was dubbed Arukola Menon by the agitators, in other words by the Christians and the Congress.

They had no difficulty in supporting Achutha Menon as chief minister three times. Balakrishna Pillai had been minister under Congress , Kerala Congress and the CPM.  Now he is supporting the CPM. How long it will be nobody can say. His son is no different.

Doctor Subramaniam Swami, currently with the BJP had once said Atal Bihari Vajpayee had worked as a British agent. SA Dange, the communist leader, was accused of sending an apology to the British government and thereby saving his life.

Such incidents are common in Indian politics. For example ND Tiwari the Congress leader's life could be mentioned. He was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh then a central minister and at an age of eighty became Governor of Andhra Pradhesh.  He had a fight with his 'illegal' son who went to court and proved that ND Tiwari was his father.

The CPM is considered even now a party different from the Congress and its likes. The Congress is an organisation where most people are staying for money and power. They joined the BJP with no sense of shame.

In short, this is a litmus test for Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and the CPM. Kodiyeri has to state his position and come out with the truth.

Strictly speaking the CPM has to change, it means it has to abandon the murder and mayhem policy; it has to hold its cadre in leash. Else this government could be the last of CPM. Even if such a thing happens, God forbid, Binoy Kodiyeri will remain talked about on how he demolished Kodiyeri, his father.

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(The facts and views expressed in the article are those of the writer.)