CPI leader alleges Lok Sabha candidate paid money
CPI leader V. Sasi has alleged that Bennet Abraham, the party's Lok Sabha candidate from Thiruvananthapuram, offered another member Rs.1.87 crore for his nomination.
Sasi made the allegations Sunday after he and two other Communist Party of India leaders in Kerala were demoted for selecting Abraham as the party candidate for the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.
The infighting within the party became public when C. Divakaran, the party's legislative party leader and former minister, district secretary V. Sasi and leader P. Ramachandran Nair were demoted recently.
Divakaran, who is also a national executive committee member of the party, took this disciplinary action in his stride.
But district secretary V. Sasi not only decided to quit the party, he also revealed that Abraham was nominated due to the adamant stand taken by party secretary Paniyan Ravindran.
"Ravindran acts according to the wishes of a group of people. Abraham came with Rs.1.87 crore and if Ravindran says he is not aware of this, then it's nothing but a lie," said Sasi, who has threatened to reveal more.
Abraham is a medical professional and the live wire of a self-financing professional medical college in the capital district.
He stood third in Lok Sabha polls from the constituency.
Soon, grumbling began within the party.
P. Ramachandran Nair was the third party leader who was taken to task and was also demoted. He too said that it was unfair to target just three of them for the selecting Abraham.
"I will certainly approach the control commission of our party to reconsider the decision taken to demote me," said Nair, who was the runner-up in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
Meanwhile, party general secretary G. Sudhakar Reddy said the national leadership merely approved the names given by the state leadership.
"Our national leadership is meeting next week and a decision on Divakaran would be taken then," Reddy said Monday.
Commenting on the developments within the state CPI unit, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said that with the turn of events in the CPI over its candidate selection, what he earlier said about payment for seats has now come true.
"Such a thing happening in a party like CPI is something that has to be seen very seriously. The CPI leadership should make a public apology to the people on this fiasco," said Chennithala.
(Posted on 11-08-2014)