Yechuri, Karat arriving for crucial CPI-M meeting in Kerala sparks speculation

The arrival of party general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and his senior colleague Prakash Karat for the crucial state CPI-M leadership meeting here, has got tongues wagging about the possibility of the otherwise “invincible” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan losing his grip over the state unit of the party.

With Kerala being the last bastion of the ‘red party’, the national leadership which hitherto played a second fiddle to Vijayan, given the strong stature he enjoyed after leading the Left Front to a stunning victory in the April 2021 and retaining office, the way things transpired after that, Vijayan is certainly not in a comfortable position.

Also, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan taking a strong stance against the government and going public asserting that he is not a rubber stamp to just sign any document placed before him, has been a worrying development for the CPI-M national leadership.

Of the 11 Bills, which will be presented before Khan for his nod – a bill aimed to cull the power of the Chancellor with regards to the running of Universities and another to make the Lok Ayukta a toothless entity — are crucial.

If Khan refuses to give his nod, it could spell trouble for Vijayan.

A political analyst on condition of anonymity said that the CPI-M is always ready with multiple plans to tackle emergency situations.

“This meeting might have been called to decide future action if Khan does not sign the new Bill, or Vijayan gets an adverse verdict from the Lok Ayukta in the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Funds matter or whether he has to face a trial in the SNC Lavalin case. A setback in any of these, could spell curtains for Vijayan. Besides, the health condition of State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has also been a cause of concern,” said the analyst.

Apart from these two crucial verdicts, Vijayan has gone into a shell after Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case alleged that the chief minister, his wife and daughter also had a role in smuggling gold and currency. He also suffered another setback after Khan and the Kerala High Court stayed the appointment of his private secretary K.K.Ragesh’s wife Priya Varghese as Associate Professor at the Kannur University.

“All in all, Vijayan is passing through testing times, something which he has not encountered in the past few years,” added the analyst.

But being not the one to give up that easily, Vijayan has sent an invite to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to be the chief guest at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Snake Boat race to be held at Alappuzha next month.




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