The demotion of VS-loyalist P A Gokuldas from the post of Mundur area secretary to the Kongad local committee, by the CPM district committee, could lead to serious repercussions in the six LDF-ruled panchayats of the district.
The panchayats likely to be affected by the factionalism in the party include Malampuzha, Akkathethara, Puduppariyaram, Mundur, Kongad and Keralassery.
While in Puduppariyaram and Akkathethara, the CPM is holding power with a slender majority, it has a strong presence in the Mundur, Kongad and Keralassery panchayats.
There are five CPM members in the Malampuzha panchayat, two CPI members, five Congress members and one from the BJP.
Therefore, the stand taken by the CPM members will be crucial in the panchayat. In the Puduppariyaram panchayat, the CPM has nine members while the CPI has two members in the 21-member panchayat, with nine members of the UDF (seven from the Congress and one from the IUML). The BJP holds one seat in the panchayat.
There are also two VS-loyalists in the panchayat, who could upset the applecart for the LDF here. In the Akkathethara panchayat, the LDF has nine members (eight of the CPM and one of the CPI), with eight members belonging to the UDF. Of the eight CPM members, four reportedly belong to the VS-faction, including panchayat president Valsala. The other panchayat members belonging to the VS-faction, include Shakunthala, Udayakumara Menon and Jayakrishnan. In the light of the recent incidents, the stand of these four members in the coming days, will be crucial in deciding the future of the LDF ruling committee in all these areas.
In the 18-member Mundur panchayat, 13 members belong to the CPM, of which only three belong to the official group.
There is one CPI member and four members of the Congress. In the 20-member Kongad grama panchayat, 17 members belong to the CPM while three are from the Congress.
Of the 17 CPM members, only two belong to the official faction.The situation is no different in the 22-member Keralassery panchayat. Of the 17 CPM members in the panchayat, only two belong to the official faction.
Sources in the dissident faction of the CPM (those supporting Gokuldas) said that in the three panchayats of Mundur, Kongad and Keralassery, where the CPM holds a large majority, the dissidents were expected to take control on their own, without the help of the Opposition, in what would be a show of strength.