Analysis | Why the NCP and the INL are giving a headache to the LDF government in Kerala

Police removing INL workers who clashed outside the venue of a hotel in Kochi where a State committee meeting of the party was held on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Less than 100 days in office, the Communist Party of India Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala appears to be plagued by controversies of its junior coalition partners.

At least two of its minor constituents, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Indian National League (INL), which have also secured a berth in the Pinarayi Vijayan 2.0 Cabinet, are not just regional parties but have their Central leadership at the helm.

The allegation that NCP Minister A. K. Saseendran intervened to settle a molestation case and the factional war in the INL have already cast a blot on the Left-led alliance.

Though his party is solidly backing Mr. Saseendran, the CPI(M) leadership is unhappy with the turn of events. Now, senior leader P. C. Chacko, who quit the Congress on the eve of the Assembly elections and subsequently joined the NCP, has emerged as a troubleshooter to staunchly support Mr. Saseedran. His good rapport with NCP Central leaders is perhaps saving the day for Mr. Saseendran.

Nevertheless, the NCP claims that the voice clip between the father of the victim in the molestation case and Mr. Saseendran revealed that the controversy was actually blown out of proportion and cannot be swept under the carpet. That the victim is a BJP worker and the father an NCP activist made the case mystifyingly intricate for the police.

The Chief Minister had also supported his Cabinet colleague in the Assembly. Incidentally, during the previous LDF government, Mr. Saseendran had to resign as Transport Minister in March 2017 in the sensational honey-trap case.

Vertical split

The case of the INL is more complex than imagined in the ongoing saga of problems in the party. Its State committee meeting held in Kochi on Sunday not only witnessed another episode of factional bout but culminated in the vertical split of the State unit.

Now, the warring sections, led by State general secretary Kasim Irikkur and Minister Ahammed Devarkovil on one side and the other led by its State president A.P. Abdul Wahab, are trying to outsmart the other to get more number of leaders and cadres to their camps.

Meanwhile, INL national president Mohammed Suleman is backing the Kasim-Ahammed faction by endorsing the decision to remove the State president and the expulsion of seven other leaders for creating a volatile situation in Kochi. That has lent the option for the Chief Minister to preserve the status quo of his Cabinet.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 7:42:01 AM |

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