Thiruvananthapuram: The inquiry report prepared by the CPM panel, which looked into the violation of party discipline by the leaders during the last Assembly polls, has listed 22 allegations against former PWD Minister and prominent leader of the party in Alappuzha G Sudhakaran. Based on the findings of the inquiry report, the meeting of the party state committee on Saturday decided to publicly censure Sudhakaran.
The inquiry report stopped short of saying that Sudhakaran tried to ensure the defeat of party candidate H Salam in the Ambalapuzha Assembly constituency from where Sudhakaran had won consecutively for three terms.
Almost all major allegations of leg pulling usually levelled against leaders found a mention in the inquiry report. According to party top leadership, Sudhakaran was spared of serious disciplinary action that should have been taken corresponding to the serious findings contained in the inquiry report. Now, the CPM is keenly observing Sudhakaran's approach to the disciplinary action, especially when he believed that he did not commit any wrong.
The party commission found that Sudhakaran, who fought Assembly polls seven times and became minister twice, wanted to fight the last Assembly polls. His name was first proposed by the party district committee for Ambalapuzha seat. But some of the names submitted by the Alappuzha district committee for various constituencies were sent back when the state committee decided to drop all those who fought the election two or more times from the list of candidates .
But in the next district committee too, Sudhakaran's name was proposed for Ambalapuzha seat. The Commission found Sudhakaran's influence in the district leadership as reason for such a development. Party state secretary A.Vijayaraghavan, who attended the meeting, pointed out the party's new criteria for the selection of the candidates. He asked the district committee to suggest one more name for Ambalapuzha seat. At this stage, Sudhakaran proposed the name of H.Salam.
Sudhakaran could not chew state committee decision
Even then Sudhakran hoped that his name would be finalised for Ambalapuzha seat by the state committee bypassing the two- term criteria. But the state committee meeting decided to stick to the criteria that those who had contested Assembly polls consecutively for two terms or more should be kept out of the candidates' list. The party commission observed that Sudhakaran could not accept this decision of the state committee.
The Commission found that Sudhakaran had made his own arrangements at the booth-level by anticipating that he would fight the Assembly polls. In CPM, there was no such practice of an individual coordinating the booth-level work. It was also noted that once he was dropped from the candidates' list, there were lapses on his part in successfully executing the responsibilities assigned to him by the party during the electioneering.
As the PWD minister he could have helped the party in raising funds, he did not do anything. His dissatisfaction over denial of the Assembly seat was evident in his words and body language. He shared his disenchantment with those who are close to him in the party. This had adversely affected the party's election work in Ambalapuzha, the commission noted in its report.
A poster showing Sudhakaran along with BJP leader and Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari appeared in many parts of the constituency thereafter. Posters showing Salam as SDPI nominee also appeared in many parts of Ambalapuzha. The Commission found that all these developments had links with the denial of candidature to Sudhakaran.
Sudhakaran says no wrong done
But Sudhakaran argued in the state committee that the complaints were raised against him as part of a deliberate attempt to malign him. Sudhakaran pointed out that Salam had made good gains in his strongholds.
The leaders representing Alappuzha in the state committee, while saying that Sudhakaran is their elder leader, wanted him to rectify his mistakes.
The CPM is keenly watching how the party's disciplinary action would impact the huge influence wielded by Sudhakaran in the Alappuzha party. The control of the Alappuzha CPM has been with the group that stands with Sudhakaran for more than a decade.
Age factor reduced quantum of punishment
The party leadership went back on taking strong disciplinary action against Sudhakaran after taking into account the age factor. This month, he will turn 75 years of age.
As per the latest decision of the CPM, those who complete 75 years of age will be dropped from the central and state committees of the party. So, Sudhakaran is likely to be dropped from the party state committee during the next state conference to be held in March. So, the party decided not to take stern action against Sudhakaran for the time being.
Winning margin in Ambalapuzha
2016: G.Sudhakaran: 22, 621 votes
2021: H.Salam: 11,125 votes