KOCHI: Refuting CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s reported statement that the factors that led to the Communist Party’s split in 1964 still existed, CPI State secretary Pannian Raveendran said he welcomed the statement of CPM Politburo member M A Baby that most of the sections of society wanted the Left parties to be united.
Speaking at a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Ernakulam Press Club, Pannyan made it clear that the factors that caused the split in the party half-a-century ago did not exist now. “It is high time the CPM, CPI, CPML and other Left parties, who believe in the Communist ideology, united and moved together. At the 19th party congress, the CPI leadership had pitched the idea of re-unification of Left forces, which was brushed aside at that time,” Pannian said.
Welcoming the State Government’s decision to close down bars in the State, and to implement restrictive ban on liquor sale, Pannian said that abstention from alcohol was the need of the hour, not a blanket ban. Citing the situation in Tamil Ndu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, he said that ban on liquor sale had failed wherever it was implemented. He also called for the implementation of the recommendations of the Udaya Bhanu Commission report, suggesting sale of liquor with lesser alcohol content and promotion of toddy tapping.
Pannian said that the decision to close down bars was a result of the internal feud in the UDF. “The government should explain how and when it plans to rehabilitate the employees of the bars. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure jobs to the bar employees. Everyone has to be vigilant to prevent a hooch tragedy, in the wake of the ban.”
On the candidature of Bennet Abraham in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency, Pannian said that there were lapses in the selection of the candidature, that party leaders were bribed for picking Bennet.
“The CPI district committee did not hand over the minutes of the meeting at which the decision on Bennet’s candidature was taken. Hence, the party took action against the erring leaders.
“He also made it clear that State council was entrusted to finalise the candidate list to avoid repeating mistakes. The commission appointed by the party did not find any financial fraud with regard to the selection of the candidate,” Pannian added.