CPM in dilemma over action against Kollam Mayor

Published: 22nd February 2010 04:14 AM
N Padmalochanan

KOLLAM: Though the inauguration of the reception committee office of the RSS meet by the Kollam Mayor has been widely condemned in the CPM circles, the party is in a dilemma over the disciplinary action to be taken against him.

The vast majority of those in the party is in favour of taking the `extreme’ action of expelling Mayor N Padmalochanan from the party as he had committed an `unpardonable error.’ Some even feel that there was no need for seeking even an explanation from him considering the gravity of the error. According to them, the Mayor has openly challenged the ideological and political positions of the party.

However, the party may find it difficult to find a suitable substitute for the Mayor’s post in case the extreme disciplinary action is taken against him.

There are many aspirants for the post. It will be a Herculean task to choose one from them as it would worsen the factional fights.

Moreover, taking extreme action against Padmalochanan will also antagonise the community he belongs to.

The party cannot afford such a situation as the elections to the local bodies are only six months away.

Hence the party is in search of a face-saving formula.

Mayor Padmalochanan, however, refused to comment on the issue. According to sources close to him, he attended the RSS function intentionally. He was well aware of the consequences of attending such a function.

The CPMis not happy with the performance of Padmalochanan as the Mayor as he had antagonised large sections by his style of functioning.

Slaughter house, waste depot, felling of trees, railway land, construction of Chinnakkadasubway etc. are among the issues in which the Mayor has earned the wrath of the people. He was criticised by many in the party for his `contributions’ to the election debacle.

Padmalochanan is one of the senior most leaders of the CPM in the district as well as the state. He had worked as the CPM state committee member and CITU state secretary.

He was excluded from the CPM state committee following his association with the CITU group in the late 1990s.

Later, he associated with the VS group before crossing over to the Pinarayi faction after becoming Mayor. At present, he is a member of the district secretariat of the CPM.

Padmalochanan is trying to become a `martyr’ in his fight with the party on the issue of ascertaining the `rights’ of a Mayor. He had said that he attended the RSS function in his capacity as the Mayor.

When he attended a function of the Jamaat-e-Islami a year ago in his capacity as the Mayor, it was not made an issue.

None raised voice in the party when CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan attended the Marcus meet.

The voluntary work for cleaning the Asramam ground, the venue of the RSS meet, was inaugurated by District Collector A.Shajahan, it is pointedout.

The Mayor can participate in the social functions sponsored by RSS such as launching of an ambulance service or opening of a school, say his critics in the party.

However, the RSS is organising the meet in Kollam as part of spreading their activities. It turned to be a shame for the party that the Mayor inaugurated the RSS reception committee office by lighting a lamp in front of the portraits of Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, and Madhav Sadashiv Golwalker, the ideologue of the organisation, they added.

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