Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani, who wishes to leave the UDF to join the LDF is becoming the subject of the tussle between the CPI and CPM.
After the last ditch effort which resulted in the resignation of Thomas Chandy, Jose has become the new subject of differences between the two leading parties in LDF.
UDF must weaken and for that, Jose K Mani must be welcomed, the CPM’s line of thought is clear. The CPM feels that Jose could be an asset in central Travancore and especially in Kottayam. Despite having three Kerala Congress parties in the front, the CPM is not confident about their strength. That’s why CPM, which is eyeing Christian votes, gave the green signal to Jose K Mani.
However, the only roadblock in Jose’s path to the AKG centre is Kanam Rajendran. Whenever Jayarajan and Elamaram calculated the value of Jose K Mani’s party, the CPI state secretary belittled it. Moreover, Kanam Rajendran has never hesitated to ridicule Kerala Congress (M) at every opportunity.
When Kanam Rajenran stated that these are times when social distancing should be maintained, Jose K Mani was the target. Though the CPI leader did not mention him as a virus, that was the point.
Kanam is adamant on his stance. After Kodiyeri Balakrishnan recollected history, Kanam Rajendran responded on Sunday and reminded what the CPM state secretary forgot to mention. Kanam also responded in the same coin to Kodiyeri’s taunts of what the CPI had gained by contesting alone.
Kodiyeri’s statement that, in 1965 the CPI won only three seats after contesting in 79 seats on their own, was a clear warning to the CPI. But Kanam responded that back then the CPM had allied with the Muslim League and that Kodiyeri should read history once again.
On Sunday, Kanam Rajendran said that when M. P. Veerendra Kumar faction quit UDF to join LDF, he had resigned his Rajya Sabha membership. Kanam’s opinion to “let Jose K Mani faction relinquish the two MP posts they have won with the UDF. Then we can think about them joining the LDF,” is significant.
The CPI leader’s opinion is in fact what the Congress or UDF should demand if Jose K Mani indeed decides to join the LDF. The war of words, which started when Veliyam Bharghavan and Pinarayi Vijayan were the secretaries of CPI and CPM respectively, has turned into a battle over stances with Kanam holding the top position in CPI.
In November 2017, CPI ministers refraining from the cabinet meeting in which Thomas Chandy was taking part had put CPM on the defence. Thomas Chandy’s subsequent resignation helped CPI’s image.
Later, when Eldho Abraham MLA was injured in a police attack, Kanam Rajendran did not respond. When the Sprinklr controversy arose, the CPI state secretary reduced his statement to “neither the party nor the cabinet was aware.” But when Kanam Rajendran becomes firm on his stances after three years, what is he targeting?
On Sunday, the last question Kanam Rajendran faced from the media was “Would the CPI’s strong stances lead to them being shown the door by LDF? To which the CPI state secretary responded “That should not be a problem. The front is for everyone.”
Now what remains to be seen is if Kanam will be forced to swallow his pride and welcome Jose K Mani to LDF.