CPM irked by INL split, to wait and watch before backing a faction

INL party workers
Screengrab of INL party workers clashing on the street in Kochi on Sunday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The split in the Indian National League (INL), a minor ally of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), has irked the CPM.

The party has not decided on which of the two factions to favour. The party wants both the factions to work together.

If parties were to split, the CPM generally follows the practice of keeping out both the factions from the front, at least temporarily. Later, the faction that emerges as the official group could be considered for induction into the front. Earlier, when the PC Thomas’ faction of the Kerala Congress had split, one faction was not allowed to attend the meeting of the CPM-led political alliance.

In the case of INL, the possibility of taking both the factions into the Left fold is unlikely. As the party's sole MLA and Minister Ahamed Devarkovil is with the Kasim Irikkoor faction, that faction might have the upper hand currently. This faction likely enjoys the backing of the central leadership. But both factions claim the support of the party's district units, office-bearers and workers. The CPM might seek the opinion of the district units and leaders in the Malabar region.

As the party represents the minority community and their Minister, it is unlikely to be ousted from the Cabinet in haste. But if those supporting the Minister turn out to be weak in the party, then the LDF might have to make a hard choice.

The INL could not make good on the assurance given to the CPM, when the party was made a coalition partner and given the ministerial berth. The INL had given its word that it would create fissures in the Muslim League's fortress and make attempts to woo more members from the League. Though it was given ministerial berth only for two-and-a-half years, the number of people joining INL also increased. Then the internal feud in the party crossed all limits.

As the dispute brewed, the CPM had summoned both factions to the AKG Centre, cautioning them to work in unity and discipline, without tarnishing the image of the front. Both the factions then jointly addressed the media and the leaders claimed that there were no problems within the party.

Recently, the Kerala Congress faction led by Scaria Thomas had also split soon after his death. Both factions have shot off missives to the LDF, seeking to exclude the rival faction from the front. Now, the turmoil in INL follows.

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