LDF convener’s ‘ill-timed’ admission hovers over crucial CPI(M) meet today

The CPI(M) sees a Congress-BJP-media plot to sabotage LDF’s chances at the hustings by casting aspersions on the ideological integrity and loyalty of a top leader. Hence, the secretariat meeting need not take action against E.P. Jayarajan, say insiders

Updated - April 29, 2024 09:09 am IST

Published - April 28, 2024 09:27 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

E.P. Jayarajan

E.P. Jayarajan

The CPI(M) State secretariat meeting scheduled on Monday appears menaced by the unrelenting media circus over LDF convener E.P. Jayarajan’s Lok Sabha election day admission that he had met BJP Kerala in-charge Prakash Javadekar in the company of an alleged political fixer. 

A day ahead of the polls, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran spotlighted the ‘2023 meeting’ to sabotage the LDF’s refrain that Congress leaders in Kerala are in secret cahoots with the BJP and vulnerable to defection once the results are out. It did not help the LDF campaign that BJP’s firebrand leader Sobha Surendran endorsed Mr. Sudhakaran. 

Mr. Jayarajan had claimed that Mr. Javadekar and T.G. Nandakumar, a self-styled political broker whose name his critics have often linked to questionable practices, had surprised him at his son’s house in Thiruvananthapuram in March 2023. He said he declined to discuss politics and ended the meeting in 10 minutes. Moreover, Mr. Jayarajan said he did not feel compelled to report the impromptu call to the CPI(M) leadership. 

Mr. Jayarajan’s acknowledgement of the controversial meeting seemed to wrongfoot the LDF on the high-stakes polling day. 

The Congress had earlier used CPI(M) leader S. Rajendran’s “dalliance” with Mr. Javadekar in Delhi to similarly assail the LDF campaign. 

On Sunday, Mr. Jayarajan said the pressing political need of the hour to clear the air had prompted him to clarify matters to the media on poll day. He admitted he had briefly lost guard and was extremely mindful of Chief Minister Vijayan’s counsel to be wary of people with vested interests. 

If Mr. Vijayan’s and CPI(M) State secretary M.V. Govindan’s words were any indication, the CPI(M) has deemed the controversy a Congress-BJP-media plot to disrupt the LDF’s confident and secular messaging at the hustings at the last minute by casting aspersions on the ideological integrity and loyalty of a top leader. 

Party’s focus

Hence, an LDF insider said, the media assumption that the CPI(M) Secretariat would punish Mr. Jayarajan for an arguably tactless act was anything but a certainty. 

The party would reportedly focus on analysing the post-election scenario, discussing deficient poll tactics and campaign dysfunction, if any, and identifying long-term trends instead of resorting to a fractious blame game.

However, whether the stormy controversy was off the table and water under the bridge remains to be seen.

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