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    Posted on 09 March 2012
    CURRENT AFFAIRS  
    KERALA

    Alleging factionalism CPI(M) MLA quits from legislature and party post

    R Selvaraj resigns saying that the CPI(M) was “hunting and humiliating” him and his family for no reason

    Jeemon Jacob
    Thiruvananthapuram

    R Selvaraj
    Photo: Rajesh

    Upset at the factionalism and witch-hunting in the CPI(M) its Member of the Legislative Assembly R Selvaraj resigned from the Assembly and from the Party District Committee on Friday 9 March 2012. Left leaders in the state were shocked by the timing of his exit as the CPI(M) led Left front is fighting by-poll elections in Piravom on 17 March.

    Selvaraj told TEHLKA that he was fed up with the way CPI(M) was treating him. “I’ve been with the party since my student days. However, now the party is hunting me for nothing. Not only me, my family members and close associates are being targeted unnecessarily. I can’t stand such humiliation,” Selvaraj said.

    He, however, maintained that his political ideology won’t change. “I don’t need permission from anybody to remain a communist,” he said. Sixty three-year-old Selvaraj is one of the most popular CPI(M) leaders in Thiruvananthapuram district and belongs to the Nadar community. He has previously worked with agricultural labourers and held several party positions including as Area Secretary of Parassala, in Southern Kerala. Selvaraj was elected to Kerala Assembly in 2006 from Parasala and in 2011 from Neyyatinkara. With his resignation, the strength of the Opposition party has fallen to 67 giving a great relief to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who is heading a government with a thin majority.

    The crisis started brewing in CPI(M) district leadership when the party shifted Selvaraj from Parasala to Neyyatinkara in 2011 Assembly election against his wishes. The party fielded Anavur Nagappan, a Pinarayi loyalist in Parasala who lost to Congress candidate AT George for 505 votes. Anavur Nagappan alleged that his defeat in the election was engineered by Selvaraj who used his clout in his influential Nadar community. The CPIM State Committee probed the allegations. After this, Selvaraj was removed from the Parasala Area Committee limiting his powers within the party.

    “Selvaraj approached state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan against the move, but he paid no attention to his complaint. He was the only MLA who was not invited to the state conference of the party which was held in Thiruvananthapuram last February. The district leadership adopted a strategy not to invite him to party functions and took actions against his close associates. This forced him out of the party,” said a CPI(M) leader on conditions of anonymity. Selvaraj’s resignation has not only shocked Left leaders but the entire state. “CPIM will find it very difficult to address his resignation when the party campaigns in Piravom. His resignation puts the entire leadership on the defensive,” said A Jayashanker , a political commentator.

    “The CPI(M) state leadership was hoping for a victory in Piravom which could have destabilised Oommen Chandy government in Kerala. But Selvaraj’s resignation punctured CPIM’s dreams,” he added.

    Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka.
    [email protected]

    Editing by Karuna John


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    Posted on 09 March 2012
 

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