After their weeks-long stand-off, the CPM and the CPI appear to have stitched up differences in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Council.
With simmering tensions within the ruling LDF in the civic body threatening to boil over, the district leaderships of the two parties had hastily stepped in on Thursday to effect a patch-up. Tension had been building up over the past few weeks with the CPI members accusing big brother CPM of neglecting their wards.
Matters had reached a head on November 21 with the CPI members en masse boycotting the weekly meeting of the Corporation Council. This led to the opposition UDF insisting that there was no point in the council meeting if the CPI members were boycotting it.
On Wednesday, CPI district secretary Venjaramoodu Sasi shot off a letter to Mayor K Chandrika and CPM district secretary Kadakampally Surendran complaining about the CPM’s lack of enthusiasm when it came to development activities in the CPI-held wards.
The reconciliation meeting convened on Thursday afternoon saw Surendran and Sasi sitting down with Chandrika, Deputy Mayor and CPI leader G Happykumar, CPM’s parliamentary party secretary in the council V S Padmakumar and CPI’s S Vijayakumar to talk things over.
After the meeting, Kadakampally Surendran sought to play down the entire episode, though. Talking to reporters at a press conference here, he said that CPI’s letter had mentioned general issues only and there was scarcely any dispute between the parties.
But Happykumar was more forthcoming. ‘’Some issues had either been missed altogether or set aside by the Mayor and the CPM. That was why the CPI members stayed away from the council meeting. At Thursday’s meeting, the district leaderships of both parties told the CPM members to be more careful about such matters,’’ he told Express.
CPM’s V S Padmakumar, who is also the works standing committee chairman, said that the issues between the CPM and the CPI were neatly solved at the meeting.