In an unexpected turn of events, veteran CPM leader and former state minister G. Sudhakaran has ignited a storm within the Communist Party of India (Marxist) with his candid remarks during a book release program in Alappuzha, his home district, on December 26. Sudhakaran’s statements, seemingly critical of the party’s approach and internal dynamics, have sent shockwaves through both the leadership and the rank-and-file members of the CPM.
Addressing the gathering, Sudhakaran emphasised the need for CPM functionaries to garner acceptance not only within the party but also beyond its confines. He argued that relying solely on the strength of party members would not be sufficient for the CPM to come to power. In his characteristically sarcastic style, he remarked that the party would not be created if a few individuals gathered together in unity, emphasising the importance of broad acceptance.
Sudhakaran questioned the viability of CPM candidates securing legislative seats solely with CPM votes, especially in constituencies like Kannur, known for its distinct political dynamics. He underscored the significance of gaining the support of non-CPM voters, stating that party members win elections when non-members cast their votes.
Acknowledging Right-Wing Majority
Notably, Sudhakaran acknowledged the dominance of ‘right-wingers’ in the country, pointing out that CPM’s national vote share has declined from 12 percent to 2.5 percent. He urged CPM leaders and workers to shed any arrogance and false prestige, recognising that the party has more ground to cover. Sudhakaran stressed the importance of every word and action reflecting the party’s philosophies, advocating for humility and receptiveness to the people’s sentiments.
Learning from the Past
Furthermore, Sudhakaran highlighted the necessity of acknowledging and narrating the party’s past, contending that it is not about blindly following history but understanding how the present has evolved. He cautioned against dismissing the past, emphasising that those living in the present have the responsibility to convey historical lessons to the people.
Party’s Response and Recent Developments
The CPM, seemingly taken aback by Sudhakaran’s revelations, has downplayed his remarks. A state committee member stated to the media that while the party has 500,000 members in the state, their votes alone cannot ensure victory. However, Sudhakaran’s statements coincide with recent incidents in Alappuzha district, where CPM leaders and members faced accusations. The party’s delayed responses and justifications had led to discontent among party followers, impacting the party’s public image.
Observers speculate that Sudhakaran’s disclosures may only be the tip of the iceberg, hinting at more revelations in the future. His statements come at a time when CPM faces internal challenges, and the repercussions of these revelations could potentially influence the party’s dynamics and public perception.
Sudhakaran’s Political Background
Once a confidant of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Sudhakaran served as a minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan ministry (2006 – 2011) and the first Pinarayi Vijayan ministry (2016 – 2021). However, his absence from the list of party candidates in the 2021 elections was seen as a sign of strained relations with Vijayan. Sudhakaran’s recent comments have added a new layer of complexity to the internal dynamics of the CPM in Kerala. The developments underscore the challenges the party faces in maintaining unity and navigating the complex political landscape in the state.