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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Will heads roll in CPI-M over Thrikkakara poll defeat?

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 6 (Ajit Weekly News) The crushing defeat that the CPI-M candidate suffered in the Thrikkakara bypoll held last week has spoilt the peace within the party and the million dollar question now is — will heads roll?

Uma Thomas, the widow of two-time Thrikkakara’s Congress legislator P.T. Thomas beat the CPI-M candidate with the highest ever margin of 25,016 votes recorded in the constituency. The campaign for the CPI-M was led by none other than Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Even after three days, all except Vijayan have reacted to the loss and on Sunday, Vijayan ducked the media when his views were sought in his home town, Kannur.

Unlike the faction-ridden Congress in the Kerala unit of the CPI-M, it’s Vijayan who is the last word not just in the government that he heads but also in the CPI-M. There has been no reaction from the party to pin the blame on anyone.

The only positive for Vijayan is till now, not a single leader from his party has come out against him. All those who spoke, including state party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, politburo member M.A. Baby and top brass like S. Ramachandran Pillai and even two-time former Finance Minister Thomas Issac, were vying with one another to protect Vijayan.

But in social media, Vijayan is being slammed and held responsible for the defeat.

“Just look into the numerous reports in the vernacular media on the reversal and everyone says this is a slap on the face of Vijayan for his rudeness and arrogance that he can do anything and get away. Just imagine, had the CPI-M candidate won, Vijayan would have been the first one to have come out and told the media. But, now he knows that he is being responsible for the defeat, so he has gone into oblivion,” said a critic on condition of anonymity, and added it is an uneasy calm that prevailed in the CPI-M now.

It has now become clear that State Industries Minister P. Rajeev had the final word when it came to selecting interventional cardiologist Joe Joseph as their candidate. Rajeev is understood to have prevailed over Vijayan, who was then convalescing at a hospital in the US, to change the candidate from popular youth wing leader of the CPI-M, Arun Kumar to Joseph.

Now all eyes are on the upcoming state committee meeting of the party to be held sometime this week, when it will be clear if any sort of fireworks will take place. Given the iron grip that Vijayan continues to have, it is a remote possibility, but the million dollar question is — who will be made the scapegoat for this crushing defeat.

–Ajit Weekly News

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