All’s not well in Kerala CPI, as rumblings surface

The infighting within the CPI in Kerala has become public now after veteran leader K.E. Ismail fired a salvo at the party’s secretary of the state unit Kanam Rajendran.

Ismail, ever since Rajendran became the undisputed leader of the party and the final word like Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was waiting for an opportune moment to strike and when it came, Ismail seems to have struck hard.

Ismail, according to sources in the know of things, has sent a letter to the national leadership expressing displeasure in the manner in which Rajendran openly chided D. Raja for his defence of his wife and top party veteran Annie Raja.

It all began after Annie Raja — the wife of CPI national general secretary D. Raja — alleged that ‘there exists an RSS gang in the Kerala Police’. She said, “this section in the Kerala Police is working against the accepted policy of the state government towards women and this is being done purposely as there is an RSS gang in the police.”

The CPI in Kerala is the second biggest ally of the ruling Left government led by Pinarayi Vijayan, who also holds the Home Portfolio, was upset by these remarks. The Kerala unit of the CPI was also cross with her.

According to Rajendran, the national executive which met in Delhi last week had admonished Annie for her remarks, D. Raja came out and defended his wife over her statement and pointed out that there was nothing wrong in her remarks.

Rajendran back home after attending the national executive and after his state unit meet, told the media that Annie Raja’s remarks were out of place and not required.

He went a step further and reminded them that they had the legacy and the history of even chiding S.A. Dange, a founding member of the CPI and also a stalwart. It is these remarks by Rajendran which became the ammunition for Ismail who decided to take on his old foe.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said all know that Ismail and Rajendran are not on the same page.

“Ismail used the first opportunity to take potshots against Rajendran and naturally in any political party, there will be one faction which is opposed to the leadership. Here Ismail used it and obviously there are other state-level leaders not happy with the way Rajendran is running the show. So now that the first salvo has been fired, one will have to wait to see what happens next,” said the critic.

And not one to lose any opportunity to take on the Left, State Congress president K. Sudhakaran joined the issue and said it’s shameful to see Rajendran bowing before Vijayan by taking on his own national leadership and this is done for obvious reasons and to get into the good books of Vijayan.