CPM set to infuse more vibrancy in leadership

Some even predicted that this would spell doom for the LDF at the hustings. The opposite proved true. 

Published: 01st March 2022 06:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2022 06:41 AM   |  A+A-

A huge installation of Karl Marx at one of the venues of the CPM state conference at Marine Drive in Kochi | Albin Mathew

Express News Service

KOCHI: A year ago, in the run-up to the assembly elections, the CPM under Pinarayi Vijayan did the unthinkable. A rigid omission from candidature after two consecutive terms for legislators was enforced, with several notable names including ministers -- without a single exception -- not making it to the list.

That then finance minister and central committee member T M Thomas Isaac himself being denied a seat made headlines, especially since he was considered by a majority of people to be the primary architect of the goodwill earned by the government with his deft handling of the state’s finances, including distribution of welfare pensions and food kits. Some even predicted that this would spell doom for the LDF at the hustings. The opposite proved true. 

After the elections, the party again went in for an almost similar exercise, this time keeping at bay all sitting ministers, including prominent CC member and then incumbent health minister K K Shailaja -- who had grabbed global headlines with her rockstar performance during the raging pandemic. Tipped as the ideal choice for Kerala’s first woman CM, she was denied a cabinet berth. The tremors of the decision can be felt even now.

CPM may drop 15 seniors from state committee

Going into the state conference, the CPM is once again set to adopt a similar measure, this time by infusing more youth and vibrancy to the party leadership through a generational shift. Bringing in an age cap of 75 years, instead of 80 last time, would lead to at least 15-16 seniors being dropped from the state committee.

A slew of veterans including central committee members Vaikom Viswan and P Karunakaran in addition to seniors like G Sudhakaran, K P Sahadevan, Koliyakkode Krishan Nair, P P Vasudevan, K V Ramakrishnan and C P Narayanan will then find themselves out of the state committee. This will pave way for more youngsters, fresh faces and women to the top decisionmaking body.

Being the DYFI national president, A A Rahim is a sure-short candidate for state committee membership. For mer Thiruvananthapuram mayor C Jayan Babu and CITU leader from Ernakulam K N Gopinath are some names doing the rounds. A few from the SFI and Democratic Women’s Association, in addition to those at the helm of mass and class organisations, may also make it. Such a generational shift will obviously reflect in the composition of the party secretariat too.

At least four leaders -- P Karunakaran, M M Mani, Anathalavattom Anandan and K J Thomas -- are set to cross the prescribed upper age limit, while there are indications that T P Ramakrishnan too may opt out. A slew of names have been doing the rounds for the secretariat membership. Of the Jayarajan trio, M V Jayarajan has a higher chance, given his equations with the party top brass. Being a senior leader, P Jayarajan could also be considered.

The name of former speaker M Vijayakumar too has kept cropping up. There are a number of other potential candidates who could be considered, including present ministers V N Vasavan, Saji Cherian, former minister A C Moideen, seniors K P Satheesh Chandran of Kasaragod, Gopi Kottamurickal of Ernakulam and C K Rajendran of Palakkad. If youngsters are given preference, M Swaraj could be one.

Though chances are relatively less, it will not be surprising if minister P A Mohamed Riyas too makes it to the top body this time. It remains to be seen whether the party will choose to give exemption to at least some, considering various factors like Alappuzha strongman G Sudhakaran who recently faced disciplinary action.

Politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai, who was given exemption and retained in the PB last time, is not keen to continue this time around. As the CPM gravitates hopefully towards a vibrant and new leadership at the end of the conference, it remains to be seen what are the surprises in store and how the party rank and file will take these.

On The Way Out

  • A slew of veterans including central committee members Vaikom Viswan and P Karunakaran in addition to seniors like G Sudhakaran, K P Sahadevan, Koliyakkode Krishan Nair, P P Vasudevan, K V Ramakrishnan and C P Narayanan will then find themselves out of the state committee


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