An article in the Organiser asks whether Sitaram Yechury, the newly elected CPM general secretary, will be able to deal with the factionalism in the party’s Kerala unit, which is the party’s financial source.
The article blames former general secretary Prakash Karat and the party’s central leadership for keeping V.S. Achuthanandan,
the only living founder-leader of the CPM and one who “commands the support of party sympathisers and party voters”, out of the politburo. Karat “was always in support of [the] Pinarayi [Vijayan] faction. Even during the controversy of [the] SNC-Lavalin Kerala hydroelectric scandal, when corruption charges kept on showering on Pinarayi, and when VS allegedly tried his level best to trap his bête noire… Karat took an open stand in favour of his blue-eyed boy,” the article says. The article says there is a sharp division in the Kerala unit, with one faction keen on making Vijayan the chief ministerial candidate: “Can Sitaram Yechury overrule every stand of the Kerala state unit? The answer is — ‘It is not easy always’. Because, [the] Kerala unit possesses not only muscle power but also the other important power, that is, money… This is the challenge Yechury has to counter when he starts to handle Kerala affairs.”
Advice for BJP
Panchjanya takes a critical view of the criticism and protests against the BJP-led government’s land acquisition bill. Slamming parties, especially the AAP for its protest during which a farmer died , and asking how Delhi — a state that has farm houses but only a few farmers — can host protest rallies, the editorial also offers advice to the BJP. It praises the Narendra Modi government for fair compensation for crop damage and the reduction of eligibility to 33 per cent of crop loss for rain-hit farmers. The editorial advises the BJP that the government’s credibility should not be lost in the myths created by the opposition and urges the party to work at the grassroots level to remove the “misunderstanding.” It says, “The party should not be complacent, hoping truth will prevail. Well-wishers of farmers need to stand with them in their hour of crisis and prove their credibility.”
In an interview with the Organiser, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the government is committed to a non-discriminatory internet available to everyone in the country. “That is the fundamental point I would like to highlight. And all this architecture is basically for that only. Broadband or broadband penetration is important, which we are doing,” Prasad says. He says all the big companies like Google, Facebook, etc have offices in India, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants Indians to build companies like Google and Facebook. Reiterating that the government wants to bridge the divide between digital haves and digital have-nots, digital literates and digital non-literates, Prasad takes a swipe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi who raised net neutrality in the Lok Sabha: “Rahul Gandhi should reply to me first who was under pressure when 2G was happening? Which companies influenced it then?” Pointing out that it was the previous government that brought in Section 66A of the IT Act, Prasad says he got the “entire affidavit changed saying that this government is for free expression of speech on social media.”
Compiled by Liz Mathew