CPM 'enraged' over college election impersonation row

Two SFI members — Aromal and Anakha — had emerged victorious for the two Councillor posts after the college union elections were held on December 12. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM leadership is seemingly infuriated by the impersonation row that has forced the Students Federation of India (SFI) to take swift action.

Attempts were made to sneakily replace the candidate who won the college union election by vote at the Kattakada Christian College with an unelected leader of the party student’s wing to the post of university union councillor (UUC).

'Manorama' had exposed the impersonation attempt on May 17: SFI's Anakha had won the elections to the post of university union councillor in the polls held at the college on December 12.

However, when the names of the newly elected councillors were forwarded from the college to the university, Anakha's name was replaced with A Visakh's, a first-year B Sc student who's also the SFI's Kattakada area committee secretary.

Many CPM leaders warned that not taking action in the episode would dent the image of the party, as the student leader in question didn’t even contest the election while attempting to grab the university union postion through impersonation.

Neither the party nor the SFI tried to justify the act. The CPM cyber quarters too were interestingly fell silent.

The leaders are now told that Visakh had received the support of certain members of the party. A minister, who was a former SFI leader, rang up the college principal and asked him at whose directions had the episode unfolded. Though the principal didn’t disclose the same to the minister, he revealed the names of certain others in the party, sources said.

It is yet to be seen whether the internal probe will reach party members who are indeed 'responsible' for the fiasco.

Visakh is the party's local committee member. The SFI already submitted its stance on the controversy to the CPM, after receiving written complaints on the impersonation attempt.

The CPM appointed its district secretariat member C Jayan Babu to look into the issue after convening a meeting of the Kattakada SFI unit. However, Jayan Babu is yet to suggest any punitive action.

The CPM state and district leadership is of the view that the SFI leadership, which has put the party in bad light through its acts on numerous occasions, should be reined in sooner.

Charges are rife that the student wing often crosses the line with the support of a certain section in the party. The inquiry into the 'source' of the impersonation episode may reach some of these leaders this time.

Criminals controlling SFI: VD Satheesan

Meanwhile opposition leader V D Satheesan alleged that the SFI was being controlled by criminals in the state.

Referring to the impersonation row, Satheesan said such an incident has never taken place before.

He demanded a comprehensive probe into the development and sought to know who had compelled the college principal to take such a decision.

“The criminal elements controlling the SFI will do anything to achieve their goals. An investigation should be carried out into the impersonation attempt at Kattakkada, which took place with the knowledge of the CPM leaders. Action should be taken against all the guilty, including the principal, irrespective of their political affiliations,” said Satheesan.

Satheesan wondered whether the CPM would now approach the Assembly Speaker to replace an elected legislator with a person of their choice.

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