The staged surrender of CPM leader Zakir Hussain, who is facing many criminal charges including the abduction of a businessman in Kochi on Thursday, has come as a big relief to the party and the Left government in Kerala. But the bad blood it left has already strained the relations between the party and the government lead by Pinarayi Vijayan. 

 

Ever since the Vijayan government assumed power in Kerala in May this year, the CPM has been criticising the police on various counts, leading to the interpretation that a cold war was on between the party and Chief Minister, who is also handling the Home portfolio.  
 

Also read: CM cracks whip, CPM leader booked in goonda case

 

The Zakeer Hussain episode brought things to another new low. 
Here is a recap of the events:  The first case after the government formed a special anti-goonda squad was slapped on Hussain, Ernakulam district committee member of the CPM on 28 October, much to the embarrassment of the party. He was charged with abduction along with other serious criminal charges. Hussain went into hiding soon.

 

Under pressure from the public, the CPM was forced to remove Hussain as the area secretary of the party.  Later, the party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan defended Hussain saying that the cases against him were charged for taking part in public agitations! 

 

  Faced with allegations that the CPM was protecting Hussain, Balakrishnan explained that the party would not protect any one accused in criminal case. "But the party is not bound by law to catch him and present him to police. It is the duty of the police to find him," he said. 

 


Within two days after the statement, police surrounded the Kalamassery Area Committee office of the CPM. The police team was sure that Hussain was hiding inside the office. After hours of tension, the police withdrew, apparently because of the pressure from the top. 

 

But the incident exposed CPM state secretary's claim that the party was not protecting the accused.  Again, the police action of surrounding the party office was a huge embarrassment for the CPM.

 

The party leaders feel that the police 'excess' was quite unwarranted and a deliberate attempt to shame it. But they could not express their dissent as it would be read as an open revolt against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who handles the Home portfolio. 

 

In July this year, Balakrishnan had openly challenged the police at a public meeting in Kannur. The former Home Minister had blamed the police for allegedly supporting the BJP and the RSS. Following suit, P Jayarajan, a state committee member of the party from Kannur had also come out against the police for targeting party workers. 


Party sources told Asianet Newsable that the resentment was brewing in the CPM, especially within the Kannur lobby in the party, after Pinarayi Vijayan outrightly rejected the demand to transfer Kannur SP Sanjay Kumar Garudin who is not in the good books of the party leadership there. Garudin had taken stern action to reign in political violence in the district, often creating headache for the CPM in the district.