For the first time, top CPM leaders target CM's department

Pinarayi repeals controversial Police Act amendment, concedes even pro-LDF supporters were worried
Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Unusual developments are taking place in the Kerala CPM ever since the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government led by the party introduced an amendment in the state Police Act. In the most recent incident, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who is also a member of the CPM central secretariat, criticized the Vigilance Department, which is under the Chief Minister himself.

In fact, the fissures in the CPM are becoming evident after the Vigilance raid on Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE), a state government undertaking. While Isaac termed those who had conducted the raid as “mentally unsound,” CPM state secretariat member Anathalavattom Anandan said that there was a conspiracy behind the Vigilance action.

“The Vigilance should reveal the identity of the person whose complaint led to the raid. The officials did not consider the consequences of their action. It was a move to destroy the reputation of the KSFE. The government has to reveal what exactly is happening,” said Anandan.

The raid conducted in the backdrop of the local body elections has forced the CPM on to the back foot as several discrepancies were unearthed.

In the case of the Kerala Police Act, the party opposed a government move openly for the first time. It is also pointed out that the central and state leadership of the CPM had never earlier tried to correct the Home Department under the Chief Minister together. Even though some leaders in the party were not in favour of invoking the UAPA in the state, they had to buckle under the firm stand taken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Politburo member M A Baby was the first party leader to express differences by commenting that there was a lapse in amending the Kerala Police Act without considering the consequences. The CPM’s acting state secretary M Vijayaraghavan followed suit. He said publicly that there was a lack of caution regarding the Police Act.

It may be noted that the CPM had fully supported the LDF government in controversies related to the brewery issue and Sprinkler deal. Another curious fact is that the new opinions are emerging from the party after Kodiyeri Balakrishnan vacated the post of state secretary and Vijayaraghavan took over.

While CPM is united in the stand that the enquiries by Central agencies are part of a political move against Pinarayi, the party is unwilling to support all actions of the Chief Minister’s office.

The criticism by Isaac reflects the opinion of a section of party leaders that the police are taking several actions unchecked. The situation has forced the Finance Minister to defend himself against not only CAG, a central agency, but also the Vigilance, which is under his own government.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala asked Isaac to reveal whether it was the Chief Minister who was ‘mentally abnormal.’ Big-scale corruption, including money laundering, was taking place in KSFE, alleged Chennithala.

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