Heads roll in Kerala CPI over LS candidate selection
Three leaders of the CPI in Kerala were taken to task Saturday over the selection of party candidates for the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency.
Eyebrows had been raised the moment they named Bennet Abraham, a doctor and an inexperienced leader as the Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate to take on then union minister and Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor and the Bharatiya Janata Party's O. Rajagopal.
"There was a failure in the candidate selection and our party-appointed panel has found out that the selection was wrong," CPI state secretary Panniyan Ravindran told reporters here Saturday at the end of the two-day CPI state council meeting.
The meeting "decided to take action against three of our leaders for this", he said.
Party legislator and former state minister C. Divakaran and P. Ramachandran Nair - who had lost from Thiruvananthapuram in the 2009 polls - were demoted to the lower committees, while Thiruvananthapuram district party secretary V. Sasi was removed from the post and also demoted to a lower committee.
Abraham finished third behind Tharoor and Rajagopal.
While Divakaran quietly accepted the party's decision, Nair said factionalism has raised its head in the CPI and there was a section within the party which was giving out false news to the media.
Sasi said he has decided to quit the CPI but would continue to be in public life.
"In the coming days, I will make certain revelations on what actually happened in our party," Sasi said.
"Ours is a party that will make no compromises that will dent our credibility. Irrespective of the stature of our leaders, if a wrong is found out, we will take action and that's what has happened now," Ravindran said.
The CPI, which contested four seats as part of the Left Democratic Front, managed to win just one (Thrissur) in the country.
(Posted on 10-08-2014)