It is double whammy for the ruling CPIM in Kerala which is all set to get into the Lok Sabha poll campaign soon.
An imminent arrest of CPIM Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan and TV Rajesh , chargesheeted by the CBI in the murder of Muslim Youth League leader Abdul Shukhoor in 2012 and the party set to reprimand legislator S Rajendran for his 'senseless’ abuse of a woman bureaucrat in Idukki have left CPM on the defensive as campaign for the coming Lok Sabha is all set to kick off.
The intimidating strategy of the CPIM-led Government to implement the Supreme Court verdict on young women entry to Sabarimala has antagonised a large section of the people. Wriggling to come out of the Sabarimala crisis that it created, the CPM has now been burdened with fresher crises.
It has been only some time since the party succeeded in cleaning its image sullied by the charges of sexual assault levelled against its Shoranur legislator PK Sasi. A six-month suspension from the primary membership of the party and ensuring that there is no police case may have been some sort of face-saving at a time when it has been raising the slogan of gender equality through women entry to Sabarimala.
Rajendran has, through his insulting comments against Idukki sub-collector Renu Raj, accusing her of being senseless and being arrogant because of the status of an IAS rank, landed himself and his party in crisis. He has not only antagonised the party leadership, but also seen the Government back her.
The Idukki District Collector has in his report has justified the actions of the sub-collector against unauthorised construction and said they were according to law. Revenue Minister E Chandrashekharan too has come out in support of her.
Renu had objected to construction of the panchayat building in Munnar which was in violation of norms. When she went to prevent the work, Rajendran landed on the scene and using power, he was able to ensure the work was not stalled. It was later that he verbally abused her.
Even if the party confines to reprimanding him, it would be Opposition material for campaign during the ensuing election campaign.
The CBI chargesheet that the plot to kill the Muslim Youth League leader Shukhoor was taken by Jayarajan and Rajesh at a hospital soon after their vehicle was attacked could lead to their arrest, casting a big shadow on CPIM election campaign on its stronghold Kannur. The party will find the going tougher in its citadel.