CPM announces 'lateral entry scheme' for CPI dissidents

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Kochi: Membership in CPM is a big deal for party followers. It takes years to become a permanent member of the party. One has to become a group member and then a candidate member before becoming a permanent member. However, the Kerala faction, with the blessings of the central leadership, has now decided to relax this rule for those who come to the party from CPI. They will be made candidate members directly.

The leaders of other parties who join CPM are being accommodated in 'appropriate positions' with the permission of the central committee. IUML rebel TK Hamsa, former AICC member Peelipose Thomas were given direct membership earlier, said state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Meanwhile, four-term MLA and former minister KT Jaleel was never given membership. The party recently witnessed an increased inflow from Congress following the election debacle and the leadership change of the latter.

CPI had earlier decided to give direct membership to those who join the party from CPM. This had caused turmoil in many places in the state. The latest move is seen as a 'retaliation' to the action of CPI.

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