Intro: Desecration of the Krishna Pillai Memorial leads to a mass exodus from CPM to BJP, following the reason of discomfort of the partymen within the party and its unableness to protect its own heritages.
Arrests in connection with the attacks on late legendary Communist leader P Krishna PIllai’s memorial near Muhamma, Alappuzha district, have stirred a hornets’ nest in Kerala CPM. Now, the inquiry has taken the rivalry between the Leader of the Opposition VS Achuthanandan and the official faction led by party state supremo Pinarayi Vijayan to unprecedented heights.
The attack took place just before the daybreak of November 30, 2013. Since the very first day, Congress leaders had been alleging that the faction fights within CPM was behind the incident. The memorial is constructed in the site of the hut where Pillai lived underground when he died due to snake bite in 1948. The memorial was partially gutted and the Pillai statue suffered damages in the attack. Immediately after the incident the then home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct enquiry into the incident and book the culprits. The then KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala (current home minister) had mentioned that Muhamma and the surrounding areas were strong bastions of CPM hence no one else could attack the memorial. But Pinarayi had alleged that miscreants of Congress fold were behind the attacks.
As soon as the desecration of the Krishna Pillai memorial took place, VS had denounced the action as heinous and orchestrated. But, Crime Branch (CB) has concluded that the attack was done by VS faction due to the group rivalry. When Lathish P Chandran, the staff member of VS during latter’s stint as the state CM, was found in the list of the accused, he alleged that it was the conspiracy of the police. He not only condemned the police action but also wanted his party to follow the suit. He told the media that CPM comrades do not ‘beat their parents’; in other men would not attack the Pillai memorial. He expressed his unhappiness in sacking the accused from the party.
CPM leader TK Palani has retaliated saying that VS’s charge indicates his own role in the attack. He demanded a Crime Branch investigation into VS’s role in the attack. He asked VS to disclose the information, available with him about the memorial attack, to the investigation agency.
Home Minister Chennithala alleged that VS harbours the accused. CB has established his supporters’ role in the memorial attack after careful study. He said, VS can challenge the findings in the court if he needs.
Political observers believe that the latest feuds with respect to the attack on their tallest leader’s memorial proves the decadence the party suffers. It is likely to assume extra dimensions during the state conference scheduled to take place in Alappuzha shortly.
But, party state secretariat which met on December 29, approved the sacking of the accused from the party. Meeting also attacked VS for his statement that the leaders in the list of the accused are innocent. It asked VS to stop airing his remarks in public; VS’s glorifying of Chandran has caused dent to the party’s image. Party rejects VS stand in this connection. Lathish had allegedly tried to burn Pinarayi in effigy when VS was denied party ticket during assembly elections of 2006.
VS has also challenged his state party leadership from a different angle. He has alleged that KC Ramachandran, an accused in TP Chandrasekharan murder and CPM worker loyal to the PInarayi faction, got parole due to the interest shown by the Congress leader and home minister Ramesh Chennithala. It is too early to forget the stand taken by VS when the veteran rebel CPM leader TP Chandrasekharan was killed. At that time he used every platform to denounce the murder, a direct challenge to the party hierarchy when party maintained that they had nothing to do with the murder. VS, despite the opposition of Pinarayi, visited the slain leader’s house to pay last tributes to him.
When Pinarayi described Chandrasekharan as kulamkuthi (“traitor of one’s own clan” in English) who worked against his own party lock, stock and barrel, VS described him as “a bold communist”. He even supported TP’s widow’s demand for a CBI inquiry into the murder. Later on several CPM men were arrested in connection with the TP murder.
—T Satisan from Kochi