Through the expulsion of its members, Allan Shuhaib and Thaha Fasal, who were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links, the CPI (M) leadership has given a clear message to the rank and file that the party will not tolerate any dissent or criticism of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.
The arrest on Allan and Thaha, attached to the Meenchanda and Paramal branches, respectively, on November 1 had at the outset unsettled the CPI (M) district committee. But after floundering for more than three months, the party leadership decided to expel them.
Incidentally, CPI (M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan announced the decision from Thiruvananthapuram endorsing the report of the district unit.
Perhaps, now the district committee can heave a sigh of relief even as its leaders will have to explain the manner the issue was treated. Contradicting the statements of the Chief Minister on and off, party district secretary P. Mohanan on January 23 said that Allan and Thaha were members of the party and that Mr. Vijayan might have relied on police inputs.
But Mr. Kodiyeri on Sunday said the district committee had carried out an inquiry and gave its report a month ago. The issue comes when the party is gearing up for the three-tier local body polls scheduled this year.
According to party functionaries, the district leaders had earlier been tolerating the activities of the duo who publicly attacked the alleged “neo-liberal policies” of the ruling party. However, these youths had been found to openly criticise Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan too and this gathered momentum after the killings of the four suspected Maoists inside the forest areas of Attappady Hills of Palakkad in October last.
Apparently, the district leadership was caught in a paradoxical situation when Mr. Vijayan said in the Assembly that the investigators had secured incriminating evidence to prove their links with the Maoists. This was after the slapping of charges under the UAPA attracted widespread disapproval within and outside the party.
Mr. Mohanan, even while maintaining that the party had constituted a panel for inquiring into their past activities, had also stoked a controversy linking Islamic terrorism with Maoism.
Buckling under political pressure, the Chief Minister had to write to the Union Home Ministry to assign the case back to the Kerala police after the NIA took over the investigation.