Mending fences: V.S. Achuthanandan, top, and Pinarayi Vijayan

There are smiling faces in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Left Democratic Front it leads in Kerala these days. Barely a fortnight ago, that was not so.

At the time, the CPI(M) and the LDF were smarting under the impact of the severe blow that the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) had dealt them by walking out of the alliance of which it was a founder member and important constituent for three-and-a-half decades. Two events have changed all that, both politically quite significant for the CPI(M) in particular.

The first of these is the sudden change in equations within the party State unit. Party veteran V.S. Achuthanandan, for long a trenchant critic of the State party leadership, has now chosen to defend stoutly the party on the most embarrassing of the recent incidents relating to the CPI(M) — the killing of T.P. Chandrasekharan, a dissident, on May 4, 2012, in which a few local functionaries of the party have been convicted.

Mr. Achuthanandan, who had demanded a CBI investigation into the conspiracy angle of the case, has declared that he is happy with the actions taken by the party. Even more significantly, he has chosen to put an end to his often thinly veiled attacks on CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan over the SNC-Lavalin case, which, the party leadership has repeatedly clarified, had been discussed and closed.

The significance of Mr. Achuthanandan’s change of heart is that the State leadership can now focus its entire energy on the campaign effort without worrying about sections of its cadre and support base falling silent or working against its interests.

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