The presence of Gopi Kottamurikkal, former Ernakulam district secretary of the CPI(M), who was expelled from the primary membership of the party in June last year, at the delegates’ session of the Kerala Karshaka Sangham on Sunday in Thripunithura has strengthened speculation that he is on his way back to the party fold.
Though participation of an expelled party leader in functions organised by mass and class organisations, which are officially designated independent of the CPI(M), is rare, it is not an anathema within the party.
However, Mr. Kottamurikkal’s presence at the Karshaka Sangham meet is fodder for rumour mills as the official faction has taken proper control of the Ernakulam district unit of the party with the election of C. M. Dinesh Mani as the secretary last week.
Mr. Mani, known to be close to Mr. Kottamurikkal, is expected to be preparing the way for the latter’s re-entry, an event keenly looked forward to by the official faction, eager to strengthen its hands in the district unit. The unit has traditionally aligned with V. S. Achuthanandan.
Mr. Kottamurikkal participated in the delegates’ meet of the Sangham on Sunday in his capacity as the treasurer of the organisation. The new office-bearers will be elected on Monday.
But the party leadership appears to be in a mood to forget the past. He was shown the door after an official enquiry committee blamed Mr. Kottamurikkal for sexual misdemeanour. The enquiry was conducted by LDF convener Vaikom Viswan.
It was alleged that Mr. Kottamurikkal’s opponents, angry with him shifting allegiance from the V. S. Achuthanandan faction to the official faction, trapped him using hidden cameras in the party office.
An angry Kottamurikkal came out openly against his detractors and accused them of being corrupt. He blamed them openly in a television interview and later at a public meeting.