CPI state conference to see intense tussle between Kanam, Ismail factions

K E Ismail and Kanam Rajendran
Incumbent State Secretary Kanam Rajendran has vowed to take head on the challenge posed by the KE Ismail camp. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Conference of the Communist Party of India (CPI), which is set to begin here on Friday, may see intense tussle between prominent factions for the top post. Incumbent State Secretary Kanam Rajendran has vowed to take head on the challenge posed by the KE Ismail camp. 

Kanam loyalists rule out the possible rebellion citing that Ismail is 75 years old and that he would be out from the State Council itself.

Ismail, however, cites 'what happened in Bihar’. In Bihar, 78-year-old Ram Naresh Pande was elected the CPI state secretary for the second time regardless of the age limit of 75 years set by the left party's national council.

Kanam loyalists hope that Ismail would not go against the party decision to impose age limit as he himself was all for it during the district conferences.

In an interview to Manorama Online, Ismail said, “The move to oust me from the party committees on the pretext of crossing 75 years would be questioned during the state conference. I will resist the moves to oust me, a national executive member, from the state chapter, even before the  validation of the decision on age limit. I don’t think Kanam Rajendran will become the state secretary for the third time without any opposition.”

The party lacks the spirit of unity to unanimously elect Kanam as the State secretary at present, he added.

Voting was never required to elect one to the position of state secretary in the CPI’s history.  Citing this, the Kanam faction opined that it is disappointing that Ismail’s objection and another senior leader C Divakaran’s protest would only lead to their expulsion from the committees.

Nevertheless, Ismail’s statement that ‘competitions during the party conferences have become thrilling’ is taken as a message by the Kanam loyalists.

In this situation, both factions try hard to aggregate a majority in the State Council. Attempts are on to marshal functionaries from the stronghold districts of the party and leaders to their sides.

Kanam will find the going easy If the opposition is discounted and the age limit is applied. He hopes Ismail or Divakaran would not be present when the State Council meets to elect the state secretary. 

Prakash Babu, whom the Ismail faction may support for the secretary position, has not yet revealed his willingness to contest to the post. Kanam may not object if Prakash Babu is recommended as a replacement for Ismail in the national executive committee as he steps down from the body.

Even those sources who share these compromise strategies between the two factions do not rule out the possibility of a tussle.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.