By Vinod Kumar
The Congress is facing an uphill task in the communist heartland of Kannur, where the BJP is growing as the second force replacing it. Unable to resist the CPM terror, a lot of Congressmen are said to be seeking protection under the saffron flag.
While reviewing the situation after the civic polls, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has come to the conclusion that the party'sprospects in the district are very grim and the morale of party workers has gone down. ?We are losing grassroots workers due to CPM-sponsored militancy. The (Congress) party is finding it difficult to keep the workers under its wings,? said a senior KPCC functionary.
As the Congress is getting weakened in this region, its workers are finding a new nest in Sangh Parivar. Many Congressmen believe that only the BJP-RSS combine can withstand the threat put up by the Marxist party. ?With the growing incidence of political violence in Kannur, over the years the Sangh Parivar has emerged as a major striking force. Many of our party men seek refuge under the saffron flag as they believe that the Congress can no more withstand the CPM-led militancy,? said the leader. The Congress leaders from Kannur are of the opinion that the bloodletting by the CPM in the northern districts of Kannur and Kasargod is encouraging the growth of fascist forces in the State.
In the recent civic polls, the Congress had difficulty in finding workers to act as booth agents at many polling booths. The party had lost the Malapattam panchayat in Kannur even before it went to polls.
Seven out of 12 wards in the panchayat had elected LDF candidates unopposed. The other five Congress candidates left in the fray withdrew their nominations before the polls. Party leaders from the district had apprised the KPCC leaders that the candidates were forced to withdraw their nominations following threat from the CPM activists.
They have also informed the party leadership that Congress workers are unable to withstand the terror unleashed by the CPM in the district and there is a big flow of workers from the grassroots level to the saffron fold.
In a bid to revive the party unit in the district and to give a morale boost to the grassroots workers, the KPCC is planning to chart out an action plan for Kannur. KPCC general secretary in charge of Kannur, Kodikunnil Suresh said that an exclusive meeting of the leaders from Kannur has been convened on October 14 at Indira Bhavan to discuss the issue. KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and senior party leaders from Kannur will attend the meeting.