THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The rift over ‘payment seat’ controversy in the CPI has reached a flashpoint with its leaders pointing fingers at each other at the leadership meeting which has been going on here for the past three days.
The fact that none of the leaders who came under cloud of suspicion following the allegation that money had changed hands for ‘gifting’ Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat to Dr Bennet Abraham has not emphatically denied their involvement points to their appalling deviation from the ideological doctrine they had been preaching. ‘Express’ had reported on March 15 about the resignation of a former local committee secretary from the primary membership of the CPI in protest against the decision to field Bennet Abraham.
Poovachal local committee secretary Sudheer and a former state committee member of the AIYF, who resigned from the party in protest against the decision had told that in 2009, during the AIYF agitation, he faced brutal attack from goons engaged by Jubilee Medical College, Karakonam while Bennet Abraham was serving as its Director.
When they launched the agitation against the Medical College management following the suicide of a student Soumya, several AISF and AIYF workers had to undergo treatment at medical college hospital and in various ayurveda hospitals here for months as a result of the physical assault they had come to bear.
Speaking to ‘Express’ on Friday, Sudheer said what he had revealed to the media in March prior to the Lok Sabha elections had proved to be true. “The party-appointed commission found that over `2 crore was paid to the ‘party’ for gifting the Lok Sabha ticket. People like me could not have imagined that a party like CPI accepting money for giving a Lok Sabaha seat to a person like Bennet. Myself and Meenankal Kumar, the then vice- president of the AIYF, and other activists suffered serious injuries and had to undergo treatment in the Medical College Hospital and Ayurveda Hospital in Poojappura for one-and-a-half months,” he said.
“The CPI state leadership and district leadership had demanded charging a murder case against Bennet. Bennet had never been a member of any of the fractions of the CPI. The party leadership also had not claimed that Bennet was a party member,’’ Sudheer said.
Party national secretariat member C Divakaran, state executive committee member P Ramachandran Nair and CPI district secretary Venjarammoodu Sasi are the three leaders who found themselves in the eye of a storm following the party commission’s report.
District secretary Venjarammoodu Sasi has already come out stating that he was being victimised.
The entire district council of the party had rejected the name of Bennet and had unanimously proposed the names of Pannian Raveendran, C Divakaran and P Ramachandran Nair for the candidature. Venjarammoodu Sasi made it clear that the CSI Bishop and Bennet had met the state leaders of the party requesting the seat.
‘Express’, in its report on March 15, had said that when the finalised list was given in the district council again, only nine of the 53 members supported it. C Divakaran had convened a meeting of the district council, area and local committees, only 48 of the 300-strong leadership attended that meeting.