Raja snubbed, no invite for CPI public meeting

CPI leader D Raja
CPI leader D Raja

Thiruvananthapuram: The factional feuds in the Communist Party of India has reached a crescendo at the Kerala State Conference which is currently on here. The left party's national general secretary D Raja was not invited to the public meeting held on Friday though he was in the city.

Raja stayed back alone at the Government Guest House at Thycaud, hardly 2 km away from Putharikandam Grounds where the public meeting was held.

Raja is piqued by the party leadership’s actions of conducting a public meeting at first, against the usual protocol of conducting conferences before, and for not inviting him, a general secretary, to the public meeting.

He was not willing to talk to the media persons who reached out to him seeking his reaction. During an informal conversation, he hinted that he was not aware of the details of the inaugural rally. Amid the talk, Raja had called up Central Secretariat member Athulkumar Anjan who had arrived in the Kerala capital along with him.

When Anjan told Raja he was participating in a party’s public meeting, he responded that he ‘was not aware’ of it.

The public meeting was inaugurated by Kerala State Secretary Kanam Rajendran. The delegates’ meeting would be inaugurated by Raja at 10 am on Saturday.

Party's excuse

Party sources, meanwhile, reasoned that Raja was not invited as the meetings were scheduled to be held on consecutive days. Usually, public meetings are held on the concluding day of the party conferences.

During the past two state conferences, the public meetings held in connection with the same were inaugurated by national leaders.

Deputy general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta inaugurated the meeting at Kottayam in 2015 and general secretary S Sudhakara Reddy inaugurated the one at Malappuram in 2018.

The CPI State Conference was earlier decided to be held from Saturday, October 1, through Wednesday, October 1. The conference dates were advanced and the public meeting was also decided to be held before the Conference, considering that the 4th is a public holiday on account of Mahanavami, the party explained.

However, the opposite faction within the State CPI alleged the state leadership insulted the national general secretary and the state general secretary utilised the public meeting to ensure his dominance. Kanam Rajendran, who is a Central secretariat member, is also a member of the national leadership, said the state leadership.

'75-year cap just a suggestion'

The age limit set for party functionaries has riled several leaders. Raja clarified that the 75-year cap is only a suggestion in the party guidelines. The States are trying to implement the limit.

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