A political drama was unfolded in Piravom constituency on Thursday as the CPM local leadership claimed it has expelled Sindhumol Jacob, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the constituency. However, hours later, the CPM district leadership came up with a correction saying no action has been taken against Sindhumol.
Sindhumol, Uzhavoor block panchayat vice-president, is a member of the CPM's Uzhavoor North branch member. However, she was named in the list of candidates announced by the Kerala Congress (M) on Wednesday, much to the shock of the local leadership of the CPM. The Jose K Mani-led Kerala Congress is a constituent of the LDF.
The CPM Uzhavoor local committee issued a statement on Thursday morning that Sindhumol was ousted from the party for anti-party activities. Reacting to the controversy, Sindhumol said the CPM state leadership was well aware of candidature from the Kerala Congress.
In its statement, the CPM local committee said that Sindhumol has been stripped off the primary membership of the party. Posters in this regard have also been put up in Uzhavoor.
The decision was taken during an emergency local committee meet convened on Thursday morning.
However, the local committee said that there were no problems with the Kerala Congress (M). Local secretary Sherry Mathew said that no action would be taken that would affect the LDF's winning prospects in the Kaduthuruthy constituency, which includes Uzhavoor. Sindhumol is contesting from neighbouring Piravom.
CPM Kottayam district secretary V N Vasavan said Sindhumol has not been ousted from the party. “The district leadership of the CPM is supposed to take such decisions. Sindhumol has contested elections earlier as a Left-backed independent. She will have to move out of the party if she wants to contest using another party's election symbol. It won't be a problem to quit the party if she has not renewed the branch committee membership,” Vasavan, who is also the LDF candidate in Ettumanoor constituency, said.
Sindhumol said she had told the the Kerala Congress (M) leadership that she would not contest without the CPM's permission. “The candidature was announced after talks were held between the state leaderships of both parties. The state leadership has to look into the local protests,” she said.
Asked about a CPM member becoming candidate on Kerala Congress ticket, she said, “I was just the CPM branch committee member. I do not have other posts. I contested in elections till now as the LDF Independent candidate. Therefore, the general opinion was that there was nothing wrong in being another party's candidate. I am still with the Left.
She exuded confidence that she can win the Piravom seat where the LDF has strong organisational set-up. Piravom is represented by Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader Anoop Jacob. Anoop was the food and civil supplies minister in the previous UDF government.