Kerala

New Analysis | CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has his work cut out

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan adressing a media conference after resuming as the CPI(M) State Secretary, in Thiruvananthapuram on December 4, 2021 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
Biju Govind Kozhikode: 06 December 2021 14:29 IST
Updated: 06 December 2021 14:33 IST

He has to quell the emerging factionalism within the official group at district levels ahead of the State conference in Ernakulam next February

Back at the helm of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala for a third term, State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's utmost priority will be to quell the emerging factionalism within the official group at district levels ahead of the State conference in Ernakulam next February.

His return after a one-year hiatus has signalled that he will continue in the post. But many things have changed politically, including the historic second term of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government led by Pinarayi Vijayan defying the four-decade-long trend of voting out incumbents in the State.

With Mr. Balakrishnan appearing hale and hearty and his confidence level high, party sources said that the State leadership would want him to keep an eye on the 14 district conferences beginning this month. These conferences would elect around 40-60 members, including the district secretary as well as the delegates to the State conference.

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The meeting of areas committees at many regions especially in Kozhikode, Palakkad and Malappuram districts saw stiff competition between the official panel and rebel panels. The State committee of the CPI (M) had earlier made a suggestion to eschew voting and arrive at a consensus in choosing members.

Tussle between factions saw the defeat of Kongad legislator K. Shantakumari in the Kuzhalmannam area committee. A show of strength was witnessed between the combine of Kozhikode district secretary P. Mohanan and Central committee member Elamaram Karim and a panel led by Minister for Public Works P.A. Mohammed Riyas in the Kozhikode city area committees.

Party sources said Mr. Balakrishnan would ensure that the State conference would be a smooth affair unlike during the turbulent times of the party when a faction led by veteran leader V.S. Acuthanandan was on one side and Mr. Vijayan on the other. Incumbent members of the State committee, delegates and observers will take part in the State conference.

With a good rapport between them, many believe that Mr. Vijayan, 76, and Mr. Balakrishnan, 68, to be the yin and yang in the party structure. Both Polit Bureau members are hardcore party loyalists, but Mr. Balakrishnan possesses a characteristic blend of rigidity and flexibility.

For the time being, the State leadership would not have to bother much about the dynamics taking place at the district levels. Nevertheless it would have to deal with former legislators who were benched on the eve of the Assembly election and those potential senior leaders who could possibly pose any threat to the Pinarayi-Kodiyeri combine.

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