THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI state secretary Pannian Raveendran on Monday hit back at his CPM counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan charging that the latter’s party too showed no hesitation to ally with the Congress in the past.
“Both the CPI and the CPM had allied with the Congress. CPM had the maximum representation in the Left Front which backed the UPA Government at the Centre,” he said.
He was replying to Vijayan’s harsh remarks that some CPI leaders were living with the hangover of their past alliance with the Congress party. He had also alleged that Pannian was making “street parlance unbecoming of his position”.
Pannian, in an apparent climbdown following criticism from the CPM and his own party, said he was forced to convene a press meet as his leader and former Chief Minister P K Vasudevan Nair’s name was dragged into the controversy.
“PKV was a great leader who resigned from the CM post following the Bhatinda Congress decision for Left Unity,”Pannian said.
Panniyan said he stood by his demand for an introspection into LDF’s agitations, despite Pinarayi’s remarks.
“I stated earlier that the public had some doubts over the conduct of those agitations and the LDF should be self-critical to clear them. At the same time we are not ignoring our own drawbacks. As a front ally we were party to the planning, execution and conclusion of all the stirs,” he said.
On Pinarayi’s remark on “Congress hangover for some CPI leaders”, Pannian said: “The jargon “some leaders” suits better to the CPM where one hears differing voices on any issue.”
On Pinarayi’s comment that “Pannian’s remarks were street parlance unbecoming of his position”, Panniyan said: “Communist stalwarts Krishna Pillai, AKG, M N Govindan Nair all have made speeches in the streets. What matters is what you speak. I am grateful to Pinarayi as he didn’t use any “harsh word” against me.”
On the reference to the Lok Sabha election ‘payment seat’ row: “We corrected the wrong which is a communist style. But CPM did not despite a state committee member raising an allegation.”
Pannian said the country needed a united Left and such petty disputes would disappoint party workers. He also said all constituents in the LDF were equal partners and no one had an upper hand.