THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ahead of its 22nd Party Congress in April, when the CPM has to take a final call on tie-ups with the Congress, the party’s Kerala unit is making its stance clear.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is physically present at many of the district conferences so as to deal with criticism against the Left Government. The district conferences are also witnessing criticism against both the government and the CPI. Sources said the recent Pathanamthitta district conference and the ongoing Kozhikode conference witnessed criticism.
At the district conferences, the CPM state leadership has been elaborating on why the Congress cannot be an alternative for the BJP at the Centre. Pinarayi Vijayan and state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan are leading the district conferences. Curiously, Pinarayi has been sitting through the entire three days at many district conferences; earlier in Thrissur, and now in Kozhikode. Determined to put an end to inner party issues and ensure that only the official faction’s voice is heard at the Party Congress, the leadership is keen on choosing the district leadership. In districts where Pinarayi is absent, state secretary Kodiyeri will do the monitoring role. Curiously, M A Baby - another Politburo member from the state - has been completely kept away from the district conferences.
The CPM has always followed the decision taken at the previous Party Congress that there should not be any political alliance or understanding with the Congress. However, with the BJP at the Centre and the saffron party being termed as the prime enemy, there are demands within the party to re-think and amend the tactical line. “Obviously, there can’t be any political alliance with the Congress. There’s no doubt about it. However, depending on the regional political scenario, there can be regional level understanding with any secular party - that includes Congress - to keep the BJP away from power. There need not be any alliance for such an understanding,” said a senior leader.
Achuthanandan keeps away
In a way, the district conferences are an attempt to put an end to factional feud in the party. In an evident act, veteran leader and party’s founding member V S Achuthanandan has been kept away from the district conferences. The former Chief Minister has not been called to any of the district conferences, including those in Alappuzha - his home turf; Thiruvananthapuram - where he’s now working; or Palakkad - from where he was elected.