The civil war in the Kerala CPM, which started with V.S.'sdefeat in Mararikulam in 1996, is reaching its penultimate stage with Pinarayi unfolding all his strategies, one by one, against V.S. and his group for their total destruction and for his eventual crowning.
The recent events?which started with the erupted group warfare in the Malappuram State Conference where Pinarayi Vijayan took total control of the party defeating all the nominees of the V.S. Atchudanandan group, Pinarayi'sKerala March, his decision to have truck with Karunakaran'sDIC(K), the V.S.-CPI-RSP gang-up which torpedoed Pinarayi'shopes, the initial denial of ticket to V.S. and eventual backtracking by Pinarayi sensing public outcry, attempts to deny chief ministership to V.S. and packing of anti-V.S. ministers in the cabinet, making him a mere dummy?are moving to a final situation where Pinarayi is going to have total control of the party and government and V.S. a non-entity.
Two committees led by Pinarayi loyalists Paloli Mohammed Kutty and P. Karunakaran were formed to study the factionalism in the party during the Malappuram conference and leak of party discussions to the media.
The Paloli panel naturally held V.S. and his men like S. Sarma, P.K. Gurudasan, N.N. Krishnadas, K. Chandran Pillai, Pradeep Kumar and the pro-V.S. district committees of Alapuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode of promoting factionalism and group warfare in the party.
Also the P. Karunakaran panel held two former private secretaries of V.S.?K.M. Shajahan and P.T. Muralikrishnan?and M. Radhakrishnan (pro-V.S. employee of CPM HQ, AKG centre) guilty of leak of party discussions to media, concoction and distortion of news aimed at tarnishing the image of CPM and state secretary Pinarayi.
At the recent state committee (dominated by Pinarayi) the members wanted strong action against indicated V.S. men. Chief Minister V.S. burst out that the reports were biased and against all those who torpedoed Pinarayi'sdream of becoming C.M. But due to strong intervention by Prakash Karat (who admitted to serious infighting in the CPM) the pro-V.S. members were censured and asked to correct their mistakes.
But in a serious setback to V.S. the party expelled his former secretaries K.M. Shajahan and P.T. Muralidharan, who through their media network, inflated V.S. as a superman. The CPM also suspended pro-V.S., AKG centre employee M. Radhakrishnan. Two of his supporters?Assain and Tom?were censured for leak of news to media.
The CM, V.S. is a shadow of his former fire-brand self. Except for S. Sarma and P.K. Gurudasan, all the CPM ministers are pro-Pinarayi. Ministers like Thomas Issac (Finance) and M.A. Baby (Education) take policy decisions without even consulting him. He had great difficulty in choosing his personal staff and political secretary Balagopal. The Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission was decided by the Party and Finance Minister without consulting him. Prabath Patnaik (a JNU product) cares two hoots for V.S. and openly contradicts him. V.S. cuts a sorry figure in the assembly with party MLAs and ministers openly defying him. The Home Minister announces major shake-up in the police set-up without even informing the CM.
The hero of Punnapra-Vayalar agitation, it seems, has bitten much more than he can chew and is suffering its after-effects.