The Kerala unit of the CPI is in turmoil over the finding that the party had made a Church nominee its candidate in the last LS election after accepting a large sum of money from him.
The state council on Saturday took disciplinary action against three senior leaders over the candidature of Bennet Abraham from state capital. Abraham had lost to Congress’s Shashi Tharoor.
Following an internal inquiry, senior leaders C Divakaran and P Ramachandran Nair were removed from the state executive and Venjarammood Sasi was removed as district secretary. Divakaran was shunted to the state council and Nair to the district executive.
However, the disciplinary action has only contributed to the chaos in the party. On Sunday, Sasi challenged the leadership, demanding that Raveendran should quit as he was responsible for foisting Abraham as a candidate.
“Raveendran is only a puppet secretary. He knew that Abraham had sourced Rs 1.87 crore for the election. The action against us was merely an eyewash.’’
The other two leaders, who faced disciplinary action, had said they would not accept the punitive step. The leaders said they were victims of factionalism and conspiracy of a section of leaders in the party.
Trouble has been brewing in the CPI over Abraham’s candidature since the election days. A section of party cadres had alleged that by making Abraham the candidate, the CPI had made the seat a “payment seat.’’ The proposal for Abraham’s candidature was rejected by the district council, but he was given the ticket after intervention of higher fractions in the party. The probe found that Divakaran, Nair and Sasi had pushed for Abraham’s candidature.
It was found that Abraham had deposited Rs 1.87 crore with the CPI for the election. Abraham collected that amount from various Church units. The controversy has impaired the image of the CPI, which has managed to remain united in Kerala while CPM was struggle to cope with internal revolt.