Does the CPM need an icon? Does it have mini icons? These questions may be raised by CPM cadres. Does it need an equivalent of EMS or AKG? It can be easily described as a question that is raised for personal reasons.
The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan scored brownie points in this. Was it necessary at a time when the CPM is in doldrums? Of the three seats it has in Parliament, only one was elected from Kerala.
The Anthoor muncipality, the bastion of CPM in Kannur district, saw the suicide of Sajan Parayil who was a businessman in Nigeria. He had constructed a building at a cost of Rs.15 crores and it was denied permission to operate which led to his suicide. And he as a supporter of P. Jayarajan the former Kannur unit secretary of the CPM, who moved the muncipal chairperson Shyamala, the wife of MV Govindan, a CPM mass leader.
The suicide of Sajan has brought out all differences in the party. It was alleged that Shyamala acted at the behest of her husband. There was a demand for Shymala's resignation. It was passed by the Kannur committee but was overruled by Kerala's Supreme unit. Then minister Jaleel was given a petition by an MLA who is a supporter of P. Jayarajan. The party state committee blamed the administration for delaying permission. James Mathew, MLA, alleged that Govindan made a call to Jaleel. Govindan admitted he had called him but denied playing the key role in stopping the construction.
Pinarayi Vijayan the other day, told the Kerala assembly that it is a case to be decided by the muncipality officials, as the law goes. This should be changed keeping in mind the people's representative's ideas. The officers argued that they follow the law according to which the building had many flaws. They are correct. So is Pinarayi in saying that the law should be amended. Still it doesn't answer the question on how Sajan had raised 15 crore. It's a minor issue.
The issue that matters most is not the suicide of an individual. The issue is about one rule for the former secretary and mass leader of Kannur. His hand was chopped off by the RSS and he was involved in murder cases allege RSS and other opposition parties. The case is in the court. He is known to lead an upright life unlike the other famous CPM leaders.
Was Pinarayi's speech aimed at P.Jayarajan? P.Jayarajan was not mentioned in Pinarayi 's speech in the assembly. But he has hinted again that Shyamala is responsible for the suicide. People of Kannur may not accept this without asking how did she become responsible for all this?
The Kannur unit of the party is the most powerful unit in CPM. Pinarayi, Kodiyeri and other two Jayarajans are all heavy weights in the party. P.Jayarajan, grapevine has it, was declared the party candidate from Vadagara to ensure his defeat. He was replaced as party general secretary by another Jayarajan. In Kottayam, a different principle was adopted. Vasavan, the party secretary, was picked up as the candidate for Parliament. He also lost the election.
This points to a fight between Pinarayi- Kodiyeri led group in Kannur, the bastion of the CPM, with P. Jayarajan, some media reports say. It could be true. In that case the CPM which won only one seat from Kerala is in dire trouble. This is not the occasion to fight; for the party will lose heavily. Or the party will repeat its performance in the recently held parliament election. That doesn't bode well for the CPM.
In Kannur itself MV Raghavan a mass leader had to be expelled from the party for his anti party activities. He sided with the Congress and the CPM and Raghavan fought each other like sworn enemies. Raghavan became a minister with the Congress support. He died recently. Before his death the party he had formed had split into two groups, one supporting the Congress and the other was very recently taken back in the CPM. This was a big disaster for the CPM. Raghavan had suggested a CPM, Muslim League alliance and EMS opposed it vehemently.
One Kerala journalist told me that former chief minister Nayanar for a time was in support of Raghavan's suggestion but he changed his stand. A similar thing might happen in Kannur if Kodiyeri and Pinarayi and Jayarajan fight like Kilkenny cats. One hopes it does not happen.
A split in the CPM will benefit only the BJP. It will increase its vote share in Malabar especially if that should happen. The Congress won't gain anything by a potential CPM split.
The Congress itself, media people say, is in its death bed thanks mainly to its faction ridden situation. One hopes it will not happen and the CPM will remain united as before.
The party as whole has to fight with one leadership. It can't fight the battles in groups. The suicide of Sajan cannot be an issue in the election.
The CPM and the Congress should join hands to fight the BJP. The BJP will be finished in Kerala should that happen. Even if it doesn't happen, it will put an end to the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress which are communal to a large extent. But the Congress and the CPM seek their support. That is the tragedy. Let such a tragedy not befall Kerala. If the Congress and CPM join hands that will be the end of not only the two parties mentioned above but the death knell of Vellapally Nateshan's party.
Will all this ever happen, I wonder….I doubt…