The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is still fighting shy of even speaking about seeing the back of the United Democratic Front (UDF) government immediately, but its allies in the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) have made it known that their patience with the Oommen Chandy government is running out.
Allies of the CPI(M) gave vent to their strong feelings against continuation the government, which survives on a slender majority of two, when the LDF State committee, which met here on Tuesday, discussed agitations to be waged against various ‘anti-people’ policies of the government.
The issue, raised by Communist Party of India State secretary Pannian Ravindran, found clear resonance among the other minor partners in the coalition, though none wanted any deliberate bid to engineer the government’s downfall. The CPI leader’s point was that there was every possibility of contradictions arising in the ruling alliance and some of the alliance partners wishing to strike out. None in the UDF currently felt confident to make any such move as the CPI(M) has closed its mind to such a possibility, they pointed out.
The question that the allies raised was about the rationale of allowing the Oommen Chandy government to carry on with its policies and decisions that hurt the interests of the public sector and people’s welfare on the strength of a slender majority. The discussion concluded with CPI(M)State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan saying that such options can be considered at the appropriate time.
The meeting finally resolved to organise a State-wide stir over the issues of privatisation of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and drinking water supply, the crisis being faced by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the overall price situation. The stir would begin with marches to the State Secretariat and district collectorates on March 25 to register the Opposition’s protest over these issues.
Briefing reporters about the committee’s deliberations, front convener Vaikom Viswan said the LDF did not believe in adopting illegitimate means to bring down the government. It would rather wait for those within the UDF to take an appropriate position as and when the people’s ire against the government became intense.
On the resolution adopted by the CPI(M) State committee seeking removal of V.S. Achuthanandan as Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Viswan said that in all such matters the party had its own position. He also declined to comment on Mr. Achuthanandan’s statement that the question of his continuation as Leader of the Opposition would be decided one way or the other at the Central committee meeting to be held in April.