CPI(M) activists attack party worker’s house

The Rural police on Monday rescued Eruthavoor Chandran, Communist Party of India (Marxist) activist and outgoing Maranalloor grama panchayat president; from the wrath of his party cadres after the vote he had cast to select the next president, mid term, was declared invalid by the electoral officer.

His invalid vote and the absence of another CPI(M) ward member, Kilikottukonam Rajendran, during voting saw the Left Democratic Front (LDF) lose the panchayat it had ruled for the past two years to the United Democratic Front (UDF).

A tense situation prevailed in the area after CPI(M) workers ransacked Mr. Rajendran’s house and took out marches condemning their former panchayat president as a “traitor”. The police have provided armed protection to Mr. Chandran.

The police rescued him with much difficulty from the panchayat office, which was mobbed by CPI(M) workers after the election results were announced in the afternoon.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress ward members cast their vote in favour of Janathipadhya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) panchayat member Sanal Kumar, who was declared the new panchayat president.

In the 2010 local body elections, the LDF had won 11, (CPI-M seven and CPI four), of the 21 panchayat seats. Mr. Chandran was elected president on the understanding that he would step down in November 2012 and support Bhasurangan, ward member of the CPI, as the president for the remaining three-year term of the panchayat.

Mr. Bhasurangan is also the president of the Kandala Service Cooperative Bank, which had earlier this year extended a Rs 10 lakh agriculture loan to Mr. Chandran.

Local sources said that Mr. Bhasurangan and Mr. Chandran fell out after the latter availed himself of the loan from the bank. They reportedly criticised each other at political meetings organised by the LDF. The CPI(M) had recently demoted Mr. Chandran in the party for perceived violation of organisational diktats and rules.

The political drama commenced on Sunday with the “disappearance” of CPI(M) ward member Mr. Rajendran, who is a relative of Mr. Chandran. The CPI(M) first alleged that either the BJP or Congress workers could have kidnapped him to stall the election of Mr. Bhasurangan as the next president of the panchayat. The police traced Mr. Rajendran to a ward for heart patients at the Medical College Hospital here. The MCH authorities subsequently moved him to the cardiac IC unit. CPI(M) cadres attacked his house, accusing the Congress of making him defect to the UDF.

The LDF also lost the post of vice-president to Bindu Sreekumar of the Congress. The police have been deployed in strength to prevent any violence.