Kochi: Underlining the significance of appointing KK Shailaja teacher as the state secretary of CPM, veteran Communist leader and writer Berlin Kunjananthan Nair said he had a word with prominent leaders, including former general secretary Prakash Karat. He claimed that these leaders appeared to have nothing against this proposal.
Speaking to mathrubhumi.com in the midst of the ongoing four-day party state conference in Ernakulam, Berlin opined that Shailaja teacher was excluded from the ministry owing to the desire of Pinarayi Vijayan to control everything in the party and she will have a chance to be at the helm at least at the next state meet if it does not happen now. “The 23rd party congress in Kannur will be a historic moment and it is the first time the state conference is held in Ernakulam after 1985. The 1985 state conference was so significant with the political policy it accepted. Similarly, by bringing a woman, who is absolutely capable, dedicated and efficient to lead, the party can make this state conference too a historic one. I spoke to Prakash Karat and other leaders and they all spoke in favour of my suggestion," said Berlin.
However, Berlin thinks Shailaja would not be elected to the post this time but will definitely have a chance next time. "I don't know the current health condition of party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. If he gives up the position, it will definitely provide her a way to the secretaryship," he added.
When asked about the chance of Kodiyeri becoming the chief minister of the state, he said, “Pinarayi cannot be the chief minister or party secretary in the next turn. If Kodiyeri becomes the chief minister, nobody except Shailaja teacher can become the secretary of the party. I prefer Shailaja teacher to PK Sreemathi as she has many plus points. If a woman comes to the post, it will be a revolutionary change. The party claims equal importance is given to women members but it is not practically implemented. The party line-up gives Shailaja the third position after Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri,” Berlin added.
Despite showing her calibre as a good minister and winning a good majority in the polls, Pinarayi side-lined her owing to the fear that she may overshadow him, said Berlin. “Pinarayi wants to control everything around him. Shailaja had received a warm welcome in America as she was considered a good leader above Pinarayi. After all, Pinarayi Vijayan was unsure of his health condition. Even Shailaja wishes to become the party secretary,” added Berlin.
He also said that Shailaja's rise to the post of party secretaryship will lead the party in a growth track and the participation of women in party activities will also be high. “Women membership in the party will go up and more women members will be in leadership roles. In fact, giving women members more preference is a party policy, which is not yet implemented,” added Berlin.
He also said that the party gives prime importance to weed out factionalism in view of the conflicts in Idukki and Alappuzha district leaderships. EP Jayarajan has been offered some key positions in the party as a measure to address his grievances, said Berlin.