After the humiliating defeat of party candidates at the hands of rebels in municipal bypolls in Palakkad,CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karats home district,the party faced the same fate in Ambalapuzha,the native place of Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.
In the byelection held to the local body on Thursday,CPI(M) rebel V Dhyana Suthan won the seat with 49 per cent of the polled votes,that too without any support from the Congress or the BJP. Suthan,who bagged the Ambalapuzha election,pushed the official CPI(M) candidate to the third position. The bypoll was necessitated after the sitting member of the Peoples Democratic Party resigned citing personal reasons.
The CPI(M) state leadership had considered the election a prestige fight due to the rebel menace. Suthan had been suspended from the party after he protested against the party decision to deny Achuthanandan the ticket to contest the Assembly elections in 2006.
What forced the party cadres to snub the official leadership was the alleged involvement of certain party leaders in a local sex racket,which led to the suicide of three teenagers. The official factions attempt to protect the culprits only intensified the party workers wrath against the leadership.
The election happened to be a chance for the workers to vent their ire on the party,submerged in shady issues.