THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of the rectification process being initiated in the CPI in connection with the ‘cash for seat’ controversy involving the candidature of Bennet Abraham for Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, action has been taken against one more party leader.
Party district executive committee member R Suseelan has been demoted to Uchakkada branch. With this, the number of leaders who faced the axe has increased to four. Venjarammoodu Sasi, following his removal from the district secretary’s post, has resigned from the party and announced that he would join the RSP. The decision to demote Suseelan was unanimous. There have been reports about action being contemplated against Suseelan for his role in fund collection during the Lok Sabha election. Meanwhile, former state executive committee member P Ramachandran Nair, who was demoted to the district council, has petitioned the central and state control commissions of the party to reconsider the state council’s decision to demote him in connection with the controversy.
He has been arguing that there had been no mention of him having accepted fund from Bennet Abraham or misused the election fund.
Following his open statement in this regard, the party leadership had also clarified that none of the leaders had been found guilty of receiving bribes for making Bennet a candidate or of misusing the election fund. But there were charges that leaders like C Divakaran, Ramachandran Nair, Venjarammoodu Sasi and state secretary Pannian Raveendran had been instrumental in making Bennet a candidate through the backdoor even after the district council had refused to consider his name. When the issue came up for discussion in the state secretariat meeting, these leaders added the name of Bennet to the list of three proposed by the district council.
The party probe panel had strongly condemned the unprincipled stand of the state secretariat and the four national executive members from the state who decided the candidate. There were complaints that the party leadership was succumbing to the pressures of CPM which had thrust Bennet upon on CPI. Following the probe panel finding the secretariat guilty, the entire secretariat and state secretary Pannian had reportedly offered to resign. But the state executive panel and state council rejected this and decide to limit the action against three leaders. However, it has asked the party central leadership to initiate action against Divakaran who is a member of the national executive of party.
Reporting the state council decisions, party national executive member K E Ismail told the district council that financial irregularity too was a reason for CPI leaders P Ramachandran Nair and Venjaramoodu Sasi attracting disciplinary action in the party in connection with the Lok Sabha poll debacle. Ramachandran Nair had collected `1.79 crore without consulting any of the party fractions and he failed to submit accounts with regard to its spending. The CPI state council had handed Sasi `39 lakh for election expenses. He too did not submit any accounts on how it was spent. Divakaran had a major role in the selection of Bennet Abraham as the party candidate in T’Puram over senior party leaders, Ismail told the district council.