Vijayan under attack.

Vijayan under attack.

Politics heating up in Kerala as Vijayan’s ‘head’ in life size poster cut out

Sign of all not being well in Vijayan’s Kannur; Triangular fight on 20 seats: BJP

Agency Report | Thiruvananthapuram | 5 April, 2021 | 10:40 PM

On the eve of the crucial assembly election, things are getting hotter in the bastion of the CPI-M after the 'head' of a life-size poster of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was cut in his home turf of Kannur.

This was discovered at Mamparam on Monday morning leading to the local CPI-M leaders registering a complaint with the police. Kannur district party secretary M.V. Jayarajan said this is the work of the BJP/RSS.

“The victory of the Left has made them jittery and they are out to create trouble in the state,” said Jayarajan.

But then there is another school of thought which says this incident is the outcome of the sudden surfacing of factionalism in the powerful Kannur wing of the party.

Of late top Kannur CPI-M leaders like former State party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan and former legislator and Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan, who were once considered the top aides of Vijayan have fallen out.

While E.P. Jayarajan and P. Jayarajan were expecting to get tickets to contest, but at the eleventh hour both failed to get them. Since then there has been an uneasy calm in the Kannur wing of the party.

Balakrishnan is also fuming after he was asked to go on medical leave last year after his younger son Bineesh Kodiyeri was arrested by the Bengaluru wing of the Enforcement Directorate. He continues to be in jail in Karnataka since October 29 last year.

And what has further angered these leaders is the frequent usage of the word ‘Captain’ to describe Vijayan.

On Saturday, P. Jayarajan came out with a post in his Facebook page where he said he supports the view of Balakrishnan who had said that in their party everybody is a comrade and the party is the captain.

“So a section of the media need not get jittery over the support that the Chief Minister is getting, as it’s not the individual, but the party and the Left Democratic Front that’s getting the people’s support,” wrote Jayarajan.

Incidentally, on Sunday, Vijayan himself said that if anyone thinks too highly of oneself and it gets into their ‘heads’, the party will step in and take corrective action.

Ever since Vijayan took the lead in dropping 33 sitting legislators, which included two-time Finance Minister Thomas Issac, PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran and many others, there has been unrest in the party.

But as a party known for its discipline, nothing came out in the open, but many infer from the ‘cutting’ of the head that things are not as rosy as seen from the outside.

If Vijayan fails to retain power, it could well be free for all in the ‘red party’.

Meanwhile. the BJP-led NDA in Kerala is gaining ground and the April 6 assembly polls is going to be a game-changer as there is a triangular fight on 20 seats, a top BJP leader said.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan who was overseeing his party’s election campaign in the state, said here on Monday that Tuesday’s polls could be a major milestone for the BJP.

“If we had opened our account in the 2016 assembly polls by winning the Nemom seat (in state capital city), this time it could be perhaps a game-changer in the political scenario in Kerala. The strengthening of the BJP has sent ripples in both the ruling Left and the Congress-led UDF camp. In 20 seats it’s a stiff triangular contest,” said Muraleedharan.

He went on to point out that the principal reasons for the surge in the BJP are on account of the scams that broke out in the ruling front and also the good governance of Narendra Modi.

“Just see what has happened in the assembly constituency at Dharmadom where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is contesting in Kannur. Yesterday he had to conduct a roadshow with the help of film stars. This is what’s called the new face of the CPI-M. Gone are the days when they stood on their ideology, today its adulation and Vijayan appears to have got a new name in ‘Captain’,” said Muraleedharan.

He also pointed out that even the single point campaign of Vijayan appears to have changed when he went around saying that the central agencies are being used to target them and prevent development in the state.

“All that campaign has gone out of the window and parading of film stars by Vijayan at his constituency tells the tale of what is happening,” added Muraleedharan.

But to a pointed question on his predictions for his party, Muraleedharan sidestepped it, with his characteristic smile.

While one pre-poll survey has predicted up to three seats, some have opined that they will lose the one seat that they won in 2016.

In 2016, they won Nemom and came second in seven constituencies and bagged 14.96 per cent of the total votes. (IANS)