THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI central and state leadership as well as the Left government in Kerala came under severe criticism at the party’s state conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
The national leadership drew flak for not ensuring the party’s presence in the joint Opposition rally organised by Haryana leader Om Prakash Chautala recently.
“Some delegates said the national leadership seemed to be inactive. They termed the party’s absence in the farmers’ agitation deplorable. The Opposition fielding Yashwant Sinha as its Presidential candidate was also criticised at the meet,” said a source.
The delegates felt that weak leadership had contributed to the party losing its standing in the current political scenario. According to them, CPI should try to improve its own vote base before calling for alliances with Left and secular parties.
“The need to improve CPI’s electoral performance during the Lok Sabha elections and assembly polls in other states was raised at the meet,” said the source adding that the delegates also asked “How can a party without an astute leadership and which is unable to improve its own vote percentage call for a grand electoral alliance.”
In his reply, party general secretary D Raja said it was not just the CPI, even the Congress was not part of the meeting. He further said senior leader Binoy Viswam was very much part of the farmers’ agitation. Clarifying the choice of Presidential candidate, he said Sinha was approached only after Gopalkrishna Gandhi refused to be a candidate.
The general feeling among the party delegates was that the second Pinarayi government is not up to the mark compared to the first. Responding to criticism, state secretary Kanam Rajendran said the government is just a year into its tenure, and hence it was too early to assess its performance.
Those who spoke during the discussions on the political report were highly critical of the LDF government too, especially regarding the performance of the home, health, agriculture and revenue departments. Criticising the state leadership, some delegates alleged that the CPI seems to have abjectly surrendered to the whims of the CPM.
During the media briefing, the leadership admitted to criticism at the meet. Assistant secretary Prakash Babu said delegates had called for much improvement in the government’s performance. “There is none who is fully satisfied,” said a smiling Prakash Babu, in a remark that has been interpreted in many ways than one. Curiously Prakash Babu himself is perceived as the rebel faction’s choice of candidate as party state secretary.
Public events cancelled
As a mark of respect to Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the CPI has cancelled the public programmes in connection with the state conference. On Sunday, the conference paid tributes to Kodiyeri, and observed that his demise was a huge loss for the Left front. Party central secretariat member Binoy Viswam left for Kannur to pay homage to Kodiyeri, on behalf of the CPI.