NEYYATTINKARA: KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has lashed out at the CPM and called upon the electorate to take the Neyyattinkara bypoll as an opportunity to issue a warning against the ‘degeneration’ of communist parties. He was inaugurating a convention of Congress district office-bearers and MLAs held here on Wednesday in connection with the declaration of Selvaraj as UDF candidate. “Not only Kerala, but the whole of India is eagerly watching the outcome of the Neyyattinkara bypoll,’’ he said.
“Neyyattinkara has a great tradition as a belt which had contributed much to the country’s freedom struggle. Selvaraj has emerged as a victim of high-handedness of the CPM in front of a populace known to react against wrongdoings and injustice,’’ he said. Chennithala said that people should think as to why prominent leaders like Selvaraj were quitting CPM. Leaders like A P Abdullakutty, K S Manoj and K Sivaraman as well as SFI leader Sindhu Joy had left the CPM fold earlier. “The CPM is facing the worst crisis in its history,’’ he said, adding that Selvaraj had quit the CPM unable to bear the torment. “It happened soon after the CPM secretary Pinarayi Vijayan claimed after the party state conference that factionalism in the party had become a thing of the past,’’ he said.
He asked the CPM to clarify why it wanted to burden the people of the state by allowing ‘overaged’ V S Achuthanandan to continue as Opposition leader, when he was kept out of the politburo, due to the bar imposed upon those aged above 80 years. The KPCC chief was all praise for the Oommen Chandy Government and asked voters to consider the good work done by the government in a short span. “The Oommen Chandy government has done lot of people-oriented good work in less than a year, which Achuthanandan could not do even in his five years in power,’’he said. Among the major initiatives of the government included Kochi Metro, Vizhinjam project and the Palakkad rail coach factory and providing rice at Rs 1 per kg for the poor.
Thampanoor Ravi, who lost to R Selvaraj in Neyyattinkara in the 2011 Assembly poll, presided over the meet. Health minister V S Sivakumar, MLAs M A Wahid and A T George, ex-MLAs George Mercier, K Mohankumar and T Saratchandra Prasad, Mahila Congress leaders Bindu Krishna and Latika Subash, DCC secretaries Solomon Alex and Vijayan Thomas, among others also spoke.