Is the Kerala Castro being given a raw deal?

Machinations between an atheist party and a religion based party in Kerala to marginalize Kerala Castro is raising eyebrows

Machinations between an atheist party and a religion based party in Kerala to marginalize Kerala Castro is raising eyebrows
Machinations between an atheist party and a religion based party in Kerala to marginalize Kerala Castro is raising eyebrows

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Kerala Castro has been completely castrated by the CPI(M). The lone surviving founding member of the CPI(M), V S Achuthanandan, has been given an indirect slap on his face by the party’s new proprietors led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his acolytes from Malabar. But the latest reports from Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi say that the CPI(M) maybe in for a major crisis as Achuthanandan is having second thoughts over whether to accept the post of Administrative Reforms Commissioner which has been offered as a sop to placate him.

Monday saw the CPI(M) leadership and Kerala Government ganging up against Achuthanandan in the Supreme Court in a case filed by the Grand Old Man of the party against a Muslim League leader. Achuthanandan had approached the Supreme Court in 2013 with a plea to hand over the investigation of the infamous ice-cream parlour flesh trade case to the CBI. P K Kunhalikutty, the Muslim League leader who was the minister for Industries in the 2001-2006 A K Antony-led Congress government in Kerala was the prime accused in the case. The charge was that an ice-cream parlour in Kozhikode was used as a recruiting cum pick-up point to select good looking girls for satisfying the carnal desires of Kunhalikutty.

Ajitha, a naxalite-turned social activist was in the forefront of the campaign against Kunhalikutty in the case. The Muslim League leader was also an accused in a molestation case filed by a Muslim woman by name Rejina.

Well, what happened in the case on Monday was that, the standing counsel of the Kerala Government told the Supreme Court that this was a politically motivated case and there was no need of any probe by the CBI! Eminent lawyer K K Venugopal, who represented the Kerala Government, too rubbished the demand for CBI probe as a political ploy by the Marxist veteran.

R Satish, Achuthanandan’s lawyer, told the court that the plea for CBI probe was in the backdrop of some revelation made by K A Rauf, a close relation of Kunhalikutty, who declared that there were attempts to derail the case at all stages. The contention of Achuthanandan was that the case should be investigated by the central agency following the startling disclosures made by Rauf who fell out with Kunhalikutty.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hat Kunhalikutty and Pinarayi Vijayan share a strong bonding is well known. More than a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity, both leaders are passionate about many common things, especially the good things in life. The Supreme Court bench which heard the case told Achuthanandan that the court should not be made a stage to enact the political vendetta. But the apex court told the Kerala Castro that he was free to approach the trial court with the plea for a CBI probe.

The decision of the Kerala Government, led by the CPI(M) to take a stance opposite to that of Achuthanandan is being seen by political observers in the State as the emerging and strengthening ties between the Marxists and the Muslim fundamentalists. While Achuthanandan (93) is against any kind of alliance with the Muslim League or other Islamic fundamentalists, the Pinarayi Vijayan faction of which the former party secretary Prakash Karat is a prominent face, is for strong strategic ties with the Muslim fundamentalists.

Achuthanandan, who commands wide respect across the Communist movements in Kerala, was projected as the chief minister of the State by none other than Sitaram Yechury, the party’s all India secretary, in the run up to the assembly election held in May 2016. Encouraged and spirited by Yechury’s personal promise that he would be the next Kerala chief minister, poor Achuthanandan travelled all over the State and campaigned enthusiastically despite his advanced age. But when the results were declared, Yechury made a volte face and declared that Achuthanandan, the leading warhorse of the party, would play the role of Kerala Fidel Castro!

“Taking into account his health and mental state, we are entrusting him a more important role than that of the Chief Minister. We have elected Pinarayi Vijayan as the chief minister of Kerala,” declared the general secretary of the party.

The CPI(M) leaders embarrassed Achuthanandan further by selectively leaking the contents of a personal note the Marxist nonagenarian handed over to Yechury demanding that he be given an important position in the government which would be equal in stature to that of Pinarayi Vijayan.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hough it is more than one month since Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in as chief minister of Kerala, poor Achuthanandan has not been given any post. The Marxist veteran, whose initial stands for Velikkakathu Sankaran (Malayalam for Sankaran inside a Fence) finds himself fenced in by his party leaders!

There were reports that Achuthanandan may be offered the post of Administrative Reforms Commissioner with the status of a Cabinet Minister. Since he is an elected representative of the people and holds a post of profit, there are some legalities to be cleared before he is issued with a formal letter of appointment as ARC. It is a position which does not have any serious work to do. At the ripe old age of 93, what kind of work Achuthanandan will do as ARC is anybody’s guess. But a source who enjoys good rapport with Achuthanandan told PGurus that the chances of him taking up the post of Administrative Reforms Commissioner look bleak. “See, what they have done to him in the Supreme Court. Here you have a leader who has declared that he would go to any extent to fight corruption. But his own party stabs him from behind by stating in the court that his fights are with political and personal motives. If he accepts that post, his career is finished and he would end up as a butt of jokes,” said the source who has known Achuthanandan for more than five decades.

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