Kerala ruling front partner splits

With only 18 days left for the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, another minor constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has vertically split, altering the electoral artithmatics.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Mon 24 Mar 2014, 12:03 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:43 AM

The UDF had witnessed a split in the Janadipatya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) last month with a major faction led by K R Gouriamma returning to the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPM) from which she was expelled two decades ago.

The split in the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), which was floated by firebrand leader M V Raghavan after his expulsion from the CPM in 1986, follows a long tug of war among two factions that began with party chief M V Raghavan becoming physically ill.

The split became complete when the faction headed by K P Aravindakshan convened meetings of the party politburo and central committee at Trichur on Saturday. The two passed the resolution to quit the UDF and associate with the LDF. The rival group led by Planning Board member C P John may remain in the UDF.

M K Kannan, a senior leader of the Aravindakshan faction, claimed they had the blessing of Raghavan and the support of majority members of the politburo and central committee. He said they had taken the decision due to neglect by the UDF.

The supporters of Aravindakshan would quit all the positions in the government and the UDF, including the election committees, and work for the LDF, Kannan said. They have already captured the party’s election committee office at Kannur amidst clashes.

The rival faction has captured the party office at Trivnadrum. The rival leaders have termed the split, which was averted earlier at the intervention of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the then Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and current Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, as the result of a conspiracy hatched by the CPM.

Faction leader John alleged that CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had engineered the split to offset the damage caused by the exit of Revolutionary Socialist (RSP) from the LDF over denial of seat. The split in the JSS is also the result of the efforts made by the CPM to bring back all those who quit the party.

Dissidence in the CMP, which remained united under Raghavan, snowballed after one son of Raghavan staked claim in the properties owned by a trust headed by his father. It became a full-fledged war after two sons of Raghavan threw their weight behind Aravindakshan.

The exit of the Aravindakshan faction may impact the contests in north Kerala, where they have their pockets of influence. The faction has claimed the full backing of all northern district committees. —

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