New Delhi/Calcutta, March 17: The faction feud in the Kerala CPM, being fought out in the party offices as much as through the web, leaflets, SMS and email messages, has got the central leadership worried about the party’s chances in the Assembly polls.
The CPM has called an emergency politburo meeting on Tuesday to work out some sort of truce between V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, both politburo members, before the elections.
Acknowledging the seriousness of the matter, which he described as the “Kerala crisis”, Jyoti Basu today confirmed he would be attending the meeting despite his poor health.
After the CPM’s Kerala state committee denied Achuthanandan a poll ticket, his supporters have erupted virtually in an open revolt, targeting Vijayan and his perceived backer, party general secretary Prakash Karat.
“Thiefs, frauds, crooks, dacoits, liars, mafias, pimps, womanisers,” the SMS campaign by Achuthanandan’s supporters screams against those aligned against their “real communist” leader.
“It may not come to that (a split in the CPM), but the situation is not good,” a party MP from Kerala said.
“Earlier, we thought the polls would be a cakewalk' but it’s not so any more. The fight has become pers-onal and the leaders would find it difficult to reach a plateau.”
Achuthanandan’s loyalists have opened a website, comradevs.com, and are distributing leaflets in Delhi.
One alleges: “The party has been hijacked by all kinds of mafia from Coca-Cola, Smart City to the forest mafia. The central and state committee members are living a degenerate, luxurious life in connivance with the mafia'.”
Referring to the comptroller and auditor general’s corruption charge against Vijayan, it says: “Gorbachevean Pinarayi Vijayan is acting like a murderer of the Marxist party.”
“I have been told that trouble is brewing in the party’s Kerala unit,” Basu told The Telegraph. “Although I am ill, I shall attend the (politburo) meeting to have a dialogue with Achuthanandan, who might have been aggrieved after having been denied nomination this time.”
Achuthanandan had, along with Basu and former party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet, walked out of the national council of the undivided Communist Party of India to form the CPM in 1964.
CPM sources said Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, state unit secretary Anil Biswas and Left Front chairman Biman Bose, too, would attend the politburo meeting.
The party’s central leadership had been glossing over the factionalism brewing in Kerala over the years. It had instead chosen to charge the media with creating “hype” around mere speculation. The party has also accused the Democracy Protection Forum led by Gowri Amma ' an expelled CPM leader ' and the Naxalites of stirring trouble.
Even today, a politburo member claimed the situation was under control. He said both Achuthanandan and Vijayan had attended a meeting of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front to discuss seat sharing this morning.
The three-phase polls are scheduled for April 22 and 29 and May 5.