Kerala’s red renegade bashes on regardless
By N V Ravindranathan Nair - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Published: 24th Jun 2012 11:28:40 AM
A familiar maxim is often quoted in the study classes for the Communist Party cadres, “Even if a coconut tree yielding golden coconut bends on to the top of the house, it should be felled.” Time and again, the CPI(M) leadership had quoted this whenever they had mulled sacking someone from the party. But the Party leaders here these days dread to quote it despite the fact that V S Achuthanandan is remaining precariously poised towards the official leadership.
The CPI(M) state committee meeting which concluded here recently referred the issue of disciplinary action to the central leadership. Majority of the members wanted action against Achuthanandan for his controversial stand on various issues, including the latest on slain RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan. They pointed out that his stand on the Chandrasekharan murder case has put the party in a crisis. His visit to Chandrasekharan’s house on the day of the Neyyatinkara bypoll created confusion. Moreover, his visit had become a veiled message to his loyalists to vote against the party candidate.
It is a known fact that the mere thought of sacking Achuthanandan gives shivers to the party leadership. To party watchers, it is an enigmatic snake and ladder game being played by Achuthanandan on one side and Pinarayi and Co on the other.
That Achuthanandan’s larger than life image, iconic rating as the grand old man who stands for Communist ideals and values and his legendary rise from a humble beginning to the highest realms of the party and government in various capacities in a span of seven long decades and above all his phenomenal fan following. Reasons are aplenty to be extra cautious.
What matters in electoral politics is massive number of votes, a leader or leaders can attract. Given the fact that politburo member and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan cannot match the popularity of Achuthanandan, party has to tolerate the latter.
Berlin Kunhanandan Nair, onetime CPI(M) think tank and columnist who was ousted for irking Vijayan through his speeches and writings, rightly said the other day, “People need Achuthanandan, but Vijayan doesn’t want him in the party anymore. Vijayan took only 12 hours to expel me from the party, despite being part of the first party congress from the tender age of 16. Whereas, it took him took one year to force out P Sasi (former CPM Kannur district secretary), who was involved in a sex scandal.”
The central leadership is clueless over the likely impact of Achuthanandan’s ouster. They are apprehensive of a tremor of greater magnitude than what was experienced in the aftermath of the sacking of M V Raghavan and K R Gowriamma. A large chunk of vote bank along with a good number of cadres from area, local and branch level will go with Achuthanandan, opening the flood gates of trouble for the party. Saner elements in the party have already warned the leadership to go slow on disciplinary action.