UDF bags Ramankary panchayat in Alappuzha with CPM support, District CPM leadership comes under fire

CPM, Congress. File photo: Manorama

Alappuzha: With the UDF managing to seize power with the support of a section of CPM members in Ramankary Panchayat in Alappuzha, intense infighting within the Alappuzha faction of the party has been laid bare. It was on Thursday that the UDF with just 4 members in the 13 member panchayat grabbed power with the support of 4 CPM members.

The local party members had justified the move by saying that the alliance was necessary to ensure the ouster of former president and CPM rebel leader, R Rajendra Kumar. However LDF candidate Sajeev Udunthara doesn't mince words to expose the rift that led to loss of power.

"This incident is a reflection of the intense rift that exists within the party in Alappuzha. It also shows the failure of the district leadership of Alappuzha CPM, especially its district secretary R Nazar, in solving issues within the party," said Sajeev.

"No whip was given to the CPM members in the panchayat, though the district leadership says otherwise. They wanted to remove R. Rajendra Kumar from the post of panchayat president. So, the plan was to bring a no-confidence motion and then nominate Bins Joseph as the LDF candidate. But ahead of the election, Bins Joseph pulled out from the race, leaving the UDF candidate without an opponent. I stepped in with the support of 4 four others to uphold the democratic values and secular credentials of the party," said Sajeev.

Sajeev was defeated by the rival CPM group who voted for the UDF candidate. He termed the move as treacherous and blamed the inefficient district leadership of the party for demoralising ground-level workers and laying the ground for BJP's growth in the district.

Alappuzha district secretary R Nazar however said the issue in Ramankary was a local one and had no relevance beyond the panchayat level.

"Certain members disobeyed the whip given by the party and voted for the UDF candidate. They have now been suspended from the party. The loss that LDF incurred in Ramankary is just a temporary one. There is no impact of it whatsoever beyond the panchayat, " said Nazar.

He also said that the growth of BJP in the district was because of communal factors and it had nothing to do with the infighting within the CPM.

AA Shukkoor, KPCC general secretary and former Alappuzha DCC president is very clear about what happened in Ramankary.

" There developed a rift between two factions within the CPM and we took advantage of it. These things happen in politics. We saw an opportunity to grab power and we took it. There is no change in state-level political equations due to this," said Shukoor.

On the question of BJP taking advantage, Shukoor said, that should such a situation arise the UDF and LDF will work together based on a common minimum programme to keep communal forces at bay, but what happened in Ramankary is not an indicator of that.

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