THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI state council meeting which concluded on August 9 had decided to censure the central executive members and state secretariat members for their lapses in avoiding the “cash for seat controversy” and had asked party state secretary Panniyan Ravindran to report it to the media, a senior leader of the party has disclosed to ‘Express’.
Though Panniyan Ravindran had to brief the media about the disciplinary action initiated by the state council against three senior leaders of the party it had also wanted the state secretary to tell the media about the decision to censure the central executive members and state secretariat members.
“Panniyan might have forgotten to disclose the information that the state secretariat and central executive members had also been censured in connection with the selection of candidature for Dr Bennet,” a senior leader who has more than 50 years association with the party, told ‘Express’ on condition of anonymity. In fact, they (the state secretariat and central executive members) should have resigned their posts, he said. Though it is disgraceful for a party like the CPI to face such a rude shock at the hands of its own leaders, it also gives out a positive signal that only the CPI can initiate such an action and own up its mistakes, the leader claimed.
He also disclosed that the party commission had not found that any leader had personally accepted bribe from Dr Bennet. But the punitive action was initiated against the the three leaders as these three leaders were responsible for ensuring that no lapses occurred in the selection of candidates. “As Dr Bennet had made efforts to get party ticket to contest, the three leaders had the responsibility to avoid reasons for complaint,” he said.
Refuting the claim of Venjarammoodu Sasi that he had not been involved in the selection of the candidate, the leader said despite the district council having rejected Bennet’s name, Sasi had argued for Bennet in the state executive. Ramachandran Nair had also played his part well. But it was C Divakaran who played the pivotal role in getting the candidature for Bennet, the leader revealed.
Asked about the veracity of the claim, another leader, who played an important role in initiating action against the guilty, also confirmed that the council had censured the secretariat and national executive members. He also ruled out factionalism as the entire state council acted unanimously.
But when contacted, state secretary Pannian Ravindran told ‘Express’ that he had admitted to the media that the council had found that the leadership had committed lapses.