CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran has stanched any further widening of differences between the CPI and Kerala Congress (Mani) over the 'narcotic jihad' remark of Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt and the reported anti-KC(M) content in the CPI's election evaluation report.
The CPI's report, it was said, had painted KC(M) as a party with a weak mass base. The report is said to have even compared Mani C Kappen favourably with Jose K Mani, the KC(M) supremo. Reportedly, the CPI's assessment was that Kappen had more public acceptance than Jose K Mani. it had also laid the entire blame for the failure of KC(M) candidates on the KC(M).
The CPI is said to have concluded that it were the personal deficiencies of Jose K Mani and Stepehen George that led to their defeats in Pala and Kaduthuruthy. The report had also said that the entire control of the campaign in Kanjirappally, where KC(M)'s N Jayaraj won, was taken over jointly by the CPM and the CPI.
The CPI's report had come in for strong criticism at the High-Power Committee meeting of the KC(M) on Tuesday. "If the CPI was a party with such huge popularity, why did they lose in Muvattupuzha and Karunagapally," a KC(M) source asked. The meeting also wanted the LDF to probe whether the CPI votes were cast for the KC(M) candidates in Pala and Kaduthuruthy.
The Bishop's statement had by then exacerbated the seeming CPI-KC(M) incompatibility that was evident right from the moment the KC(M) entered the LDF fold. The CPI had strongly opposed the KC(M)'s entry and were even critical of the CPM's enthusiasm for the party that was once vilified by the LDF.
Just when the differences seemed to have reached a point of no return, Kanam on Wednesday disowned the anti-KC(M) remarks attributed to the CPI's election review report. "The CPI's supposed comments against the KC(M) were the creation of the media," Kanam said. "We have never said that the CPI has no mass base. Not only do we acknowledge KC(M) as a constituent of the LDF but we also accord them respect," Kanam said in Alappuzha.
Nonetheless, Kanam made it clear that there was no question about the second biggest constituent of the LDF. "People who raise such a controversy do not have even the basic idea of mathematics. CPI has 17 and the KC(M) has five MLAs. In such a situation, how can the KC(M) be given the second position in the LDF," Kanam said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while interacting with the media on Wednesday, also said that that the media version of the CPI's election evaluation report was not the official CPI version. "I can comment on the issue (the CPI terming the KC(M) as politically not useful) only if the CPI gives an official version, " he said