Except for veteran Communist VS Achuthanandan, not many in the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) had dared to question Pinarayi Vijayan, who is often praised as the toughest leader of the party and as a Stalinist by his rivals. But hardly before Vijayan could complete his first year as Chief Minister of Kerala, trouble is brewing in the CPM that leads the Left Democratic Front (LDF).  Worse, the simmering discontent within the CPM against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has finally burst out. Incidentally, Vijayan is on a three-day visit to UAE when the party leaders went public against him.

 

Pinarayi Vijayan,VS.

Senior CPM leader and party state secretariat member Anathalavattom Anandan lashed out at Vijayan on Thursday and warned that the party would take appropriate action against "whosoever digressed from the party's policies."

 

Anandan's open attack on Pinarayi Vijayan, known as the unquestioned leader of the CPM, has come as a surprise to many. 

 

The party has numerous reservations on to the functioning of the police in the state. It does not approve of the actions of state police chief Loknath Behra, said the CPM leader while attending a programme in Asianet News. 

 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should toe the party line, he said while responding to the recent controversies over policing in the state. "Pinarayi Vijayan is doing a job the party has entrusted him. Party need not take up things as he dictates; It is the other way round. The Chief Minister is duty bound to implement party policy," he said. 

 

The CPM leader also warned that the party would not shy away from taking action against those who violated party policy. 

 

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had also criticised the police for its mishandling of National anthem controversy in the state. He had also warned the police against using Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) to target political activists and writers. 

 

Even though he did not name Vijayan, it was read widely as a criticism of the Chief Minister who is also holding Home portfolio. 

 

Anathalavattom Anandan

The open criticisms also indicated that the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan, who is known as an authoritative leader and criticised as a dictator by his rivals,  has started to be questioned within the party. It is unusual that the leaders came out of the iron curtain of the Communist party and criticised its Chief Minister. Anandan has gone a step ahead and has warned of action.  

 

An influential section of the party in Kannur, the home district of Vijayan, is also not happy with the policing for some other reasons. The Kannur leaders are a disgruntled lot because the police officials are behaving as if there was no change in the ruling dispensation. In Kannur, where the CPM and BJP are embroiled in a bloody conflict, the Communist party leaders complain that the police were not doing enough to contain the saffron party’s excesses.   

 

The CPM-led Left fought the elections promising that ‘ LDF will come (to power) and everything would be okay.’ But now the leading party has woke up to the reality that all is not well between the party and the government.