CPM central committee admits corruption, arrogance led to Lok Sabha poll defeat

Central panel report notes growing instances of corruption at panchayats, cooperative institutions and arrogant behaviour of party cadre.
CPM flag used for representation
CPM flag used for representation (Photo | Express)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Of late, the CPM has made it a point to bring out in the open its observations in the party central committee (CC) about major political developments, especially elections. The CC report, mostly political in nature, usually draws up party findings in short. However this time around, the CPM has taken an unusual step as it made public a report where the party has looked at a defeat in Lok Sabha poll in a highly self-critical manner, and filed a review that openly admits growing instances of corruption and arrogance among its leaders — that cost it dearly in the LS polls.

CPM flag used for representation
Leaders’ arrogant behaviour alienated masses, feels CPM central committee

The CPM has observed a major erosion of votes from its traditional strongholds. Among others, the party has listed two significant factors. “The review notes growing instances of corruption at the panchayats, cooperative institutions and at various other levels. This must be checked and strictly curbed. Instances of arrogant behaviour of cadre - from top to bottom - alienate people from the party. The importance of rectification to eliminate wrong trends and behaviour must be undertaken in a planned manner,” says the report.

CPM flag used for representation
CPM central committee unimpressed by Kerala unit’s lok sabha poll review

Even though the CC has mentioned all major reasons identified by the state committee, adding these two has made the report look more credible. That the CC included this after witnessing discussions at different levels shows that the party has identified corruption as an issue that needs to be sorted out.

“It’s a fact that the body language of some leaders keep people away. Among a section of leaders, there’s reluctance to listen to the people, to not give them access when needed, thereby sending out a general impression of being non-approachable. These have to change, right from top to bottom. Similarly with social media in place, both cadres and leaders need to be careful about how they speak, behave, and what they communicate. It seems at least a section of leaders are still clueless about this aspect,” said a CC member.

The CC findings are not just about local leaders but applicable to top leaders too, affirmed the leader. While the state secretary stated that corrections would be made at all levels, it’s implied that all kinds of corrections including an explicit change in the style of certain leaders, including Pinarayi Vijayan, should be urgently brought about. That’s why the CC made it a point to pinpoint that arrogant behaviour alienates people from the party.

The open admission by the CPM central committee is a welcome change, observed political commentator J Prabhash. “In today’s Indian politics, only the CPM can take such a bold step and admit that these factors contributed to its defeat. Being a political party that believes in communism, this is exactly what it ought to do. No other political party will acknowledge that corruption is one of the major maladies that need to be addressed. It just shows to what extent the Left is different from other parties. It shows that the CPM can still have a bright future,” he observed.

Findings of central committee

  • For a section of the people, particularly minorities, the aim of defeating the BJP at the Centre was seen as feasible only by the Congress

  • Discontent caused by the difficulties faced by people due to the financial constraints - non-payment of social welfare pensions and other benefits.

  • Failure to provide adequate supplies of essential commodities through Maveli stores and Supplyco outlets

  • Decline of traditional industries like coir, cashew and handloom and displacement of workers in these sectors.

  • Hindu sentiments and caste influence affected the vote base to some extent

  • Instances of arrogant behaviour of cadres - from top to bottom - alienated people from the party.

  • The Jamaat-e-Islami and SDPI joined hands with the Muslim League and campaigned vigorously against the LDF

  • Growing instances of corruption in panchayats, cooperative institutions and at various levels

  • Some of the party’s traditional vote base went to BJP in constituencies like Attingal and Alappuzha

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