The rift between the two Communist parties in Kerala widened on Saturday after Health Minister Veena George approached the ruling Left Democratic Front with a complaint against Deputy Speaker of State Assembly Chittayam Gopakumar, who had earlier slammed the minister for “ignoring” his constituency.
Denying all the allegations, the journalist-turned-politician George sent a detailed letter to the top brass of the front.
In her letter, the minister alleged that instead of raising his concerns at appropriate forums, the Deputy Speaker had gone public with an intention of “tarnishing” her image.
Gopakumar appears to have ulterior motives, she said, adding that the call records will reveal that she had answered his calls, contrary to him claims.
She also alleged that the Deputy Speaker did not show “political decency”, as such “baseless and needless” incidents dent the morale of the political workers in the Left front.
Several in the Left are upset over the spat at this juncture as the Thrikkakara by-election is just round the corner and it would give the Congress-led opposition a chance to use the issue against the Left during campigning.
Meanwhile, it’s reliably learnt that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his ire over the issue and strictly stated that no more washing of dirty linen in public will be accepted.
Incidentally, it was Gopakumar who accused George of not inviting him on the completion of one year in power by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in the district after winning the 2021 Assembly elections.
The Health Minister is entrusted with reviewing the development in the Pathanamthitta district.
Gopakumar is a veteran CPI legislator who recently won from the Adoor constituency in the district. He had gone on record to state that he had called George several times to speak about various issues concerning the health sector in his constituency, but she has not picked his calls and neither did she call back.
He also alleged that in the ongoing first anniversary celebrations of their government, even though his name was printed in the leaflets, he was not invited.
George, in her letter, has mentioned that it was the district authorities who were responsible for inviting dignitaries and she had no role in it.
This is not the first time Gopakumar has gone public expressing his displeasure with the CPI-M government.
In April, the veteran CPI leader went public when he slammed the CPI-M after his photo was removed from a political event held in the Kerala Assembly on the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar.
Gopakumar, 56, completed three terms from the reserved Adoor constituency in Pathanamthitta district during the April 2021 Assembly polls and was appointed the Deputy Speaker.
The CPI is the second major ally of the ruling CPI-M government led by Chief Minister Vijayan.
Adoor seat has of late witnessed issues between the various wings of the CPI-M and CPI, and the latest incident shows the fissures between the two Left parties in Pathanamthitta district and a section in the Left wants the present impasse has to be settled quickly.