Will Vijayan’s gamble pay off as it’s happening in CPI-M (IANS Analysis)

Even though the CPI-M in Kerala has started the election campaign, the question now many are asking — will Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s gamble pay off, at a time when he is seeking to retain power in the April 6 Assembly elections.

The cadre-based party that the CPI-M is, however was shocked to see huge protests break out in Kozhikode, and a few other districts, though not at the intensity in what happened in Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode.

The previous similar outbursts that took place was way back in 2006, when the then Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan was refused a seat by the CPI-M.

A media critic revealed that this outburst was expected and it was brewing ever since the word spread that five of their top state minister’s would not be renominated.

“But, not many in the party or its followers ever thought that as many as 33 sitting legislators would be booted out. Even though the general norm that anyone who has had two consecutive terms would not be eligible, those who had just one term were also dropped. This is a list for and by Vijayan and if this strategy clicks, his stock will rise like never before, but if it fails, then it could be difficult days ahead for him,” said the critic, who did not wish to be identified.

Vijayan, who already is the last word in the party and in the government decided to put his foot down and took another calculated gamble, when he gave huge importance to new ally-Kerala Congress (M)-led by Jose K.Mani and much to the displeasure of key allies like the CPI and others handed over 13 seats.

Soon after the decision was made and when Mani was given the Kuttiyadi seat in Kozhikode district, which the CPI-M has won a few times, a never before witnessed protests surfaced when angry CPI-M workers took to the streets and shouted slogans against handing over the seat.

Likewise similar protests were seen at Ponnani, but it was against a particular candidate of the party being named to contest the seat.

But its topmost leader and a candidate at Taliparambu in Kannur district — M.V. Govindan dismissed all the upsurge as nothing to be worried of.

“The Left Democratic Front is being expanded, and hence we will have to accommodate the new parties and it’s quite natural that seats will have to be given and that’s what has happened. Similar things have happened before also and like always, things are now back to normalcy,” said Govindan.

Another serious issue which has surfaced was at Piravom, when the name of Sindhumol Jacob was announced by Mani, as his party was given the seat.

However, things turned sour and many were baffled on how an ousted person of the CPI-M became the candidate of another Left ally.

“Look at how things are happening, as it’s Vijayan who names candidates for other allies and things have come to a stage that Vijayan is the only word in the Left,” said senior BJP leader and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V.Muraleedharan.

CPI-M Kottayam district committee secretary V.N. Vasavan’ however’ came to the ‘defence’ of Sindhumol Jacob and said she had not renewed her party membership and hence lost her membership.

At the moment, it’s all happening in the CPI-M in the state, and Vijayan has already launched his campaign in his home turf, Kannur, and is daily taking part in around six meetings before he leaves for other districts to lead the campaign. He believes he would be a game changer in Kerala politics, as he will be able to retain the power, for the first time in the state.