Split in Kerala's ruling LDF wide in open as CPI, CPM spar over Thomas Chandy bribery row

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala unit of the two Communist parties — CPM and CPI — the number one and two parties in the ruling Left Democratic Front on Thursday openly came out against each other.

The immediate provocation for this was the manner in which four CPI state Ministers boycotted Wednesday's weekly cabinet meeting in protest against the presence of tainted State Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing allegations of land grab.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the move by the CPI Ministers was unprecedented and should not have happened.

File image of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI

File image of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI

State CPI Secretary Kanam Rajendran, in a hard hitting article in the party organ and also on his Facebook page, on Thursday said the boycott was unprecedented as unprecedented things have happened in the manner the resignation of Chandy was handled.

"It's really strange when a state minister approached the court questioning the acts of the state government, and we, the CPI felt it was a wrong move. Even the court came down heavily and the CPI felt that it was not fair to be part of the cabinet meeting in which Chandy was there. It was this unprecedented act that made us take an unprecedented decision of keeping away from the cabinet," said Rajendran.

The CPI move was taken note of by the CPM national leadership in Delhi when Vijayan took part in the politburo meeting on Thursday morning. The party directed State CPM Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to hold a press meeting in the state capital.

Addressing the media here, Balakrishnan said it was not befitting of a coalition partner to stay away from the cabinet meeting.

"There will be differences of opinion between parties, and an open discussion should have been held. When a government functions bouquets and brickbats do come, but when the bouquets come, there should not be a feeling that it's because of them (CPI), and similarly when brickbats come they should not absolve themselves of responsibility. What happened yesterday should never have happened and no one should give any opportunity to other political parties to laugh on our acts," said Balakrishnan.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told the media in Thrissur that it's time the Left Democratic Front is disbanded as never ever has one seen a political party in governance boycotting a cabinet meeting.

In the past too the two parties had sparred in the open, but the boycott of the cabinet meeting appears to have created a dent in the relation between them.

Updated Date: Nov 16, 2017 21:05 PM

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