By P. Sreekumaran
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: No straying from the Left Democratic Front’s election manifesto; criticism against any wrong-doing and policy deviations would be unsparing and any attempt to weaken the anti-corruption campaign would be opposed tooth and nail. This is the clear and unambiguous message emanating from the CPI’s state conference which concluded on Sunday.
And the conference retained as its secretary the man who has been giving the most eloquent expression to the party’s chosen policy over the years: Kanam Rajendran,known for his plain-speaking and commitment to the party’s declared policies, Kanam has never shied away from calling a spade a spade. His performance during the last few years makes it abundantly clear that the CPI would not play second fiddle to the CPI(M). In a coalition, all parties are equal. The tendency to play the big brother and intimidate smaller allies would not be tolerated. That is the burden of the Kanam song.
The conference saw the secretary underlining the paramount need for waging a united battle encompassing all secular, democratic forces, including the Congress, to stop the onward march of the communal forces led by the RSS-BJP combine. The Tripura verdict should be an eye-opener for all, Kanam averred, adding that the need of the hour was forging of a broad anti-BJP front. And the CPI has a big role to ensure that such a front becomes a resounding reality, Kanam added. The CPI state secretary reminded the CPI(M) that the left parties were simply not in a position to fight the BJP-RSS duo single-handedly. The policy of blind anti-Congressism has long outlived its utility and the CPI(M) must move in step with the times by accepting the inevitability of allying with the Congress, too.
the Conference also saw a strong condemnation of the politics of violence which is continuing to take a heavy toll of human lives, especially in Kannur district. The murder politics has tarnished the image and credibility of the LDF Government, the conference said, laying accent on the urgent need to put an end to it.
The CPI has voiced its grave concern at what the party called the weakening of the anti-corruption campaign of the LDF. The party has bluntly told the CPI(M) that there would be no place for the likes of Kerala Congress(M) chief K M Mani in the LDF. The CPI(M) should not forget that the LDF came to power mainly on the strength of its relentless fight against corruption of the likes of Mani and other UDF leaders. Any dilution of that campaign now in the name of expanding the LDF would be an insult to the people who voted the LDF to power, the CPI pointed out.
The CPI’s vehement opposition to Mani’s induction into the LDF has coincided with the moves to give a clean chit to Mani in the bar bribery scam. The latest report of the Vigilance Department would have the people believe that there is no credible evidence to proceed against Mani under the Prevention of Corruption Act! This has to be viewed against the assertion by none else than the Special Public Prosecutor in the case that attempts to give a clean chit to Mani were intriguing. There is enough evidence to warrant the filing of a charge-sheet against Mani, he has gone on record!
The CPI’s tough stance against Mani has been backed by CPI(M) patriarch V S Achuthanandan who has dashed off a letter to Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanding a CBI inquiry against Mani. The people have lost faith in the Vigilance Department which, VS argued, is busy closing cases against corrupt and tainted leaders.
The Conference also saw attempts by a section of leaders opposed to Kanam to precipitate a contest for the secretary’s post. But senior leader C. Divakaran scotched the plan by refusing to oblige the dissenters led by KE Ismail. What is important at this juncture was the need to ensure total unity in the party, Divakaran said, in a clear snub to the ‘dissidents’.
In conclusion, it can be said with certainty that Kanam has emerged stronger from the conference. And the days ahead will see the CPI State secretary continuing to function as the correcting force within the LDF. The performance of the LDF Government, Kanam has opined, is not up to the expectations of the people. There is need for improvement and correcting the wrong tendencies raising their ugly heads from time to time. The CPI(M) would do well to pay heed to the words of caution delivered by the CPI State conference. (IPA Service)