The Central Committee of the CPI (M) meeting in Kochi on Thursday, Friday and Saturday has the unenviable task of addressing the crisis gripping the Kerala unit of the party.
The State unit of the party is in the grip of a slow ‘revolution’ from within– in fact, two revolutions that are taking diametrically opposite directions. One is taking the party towards the right while the other is trying to retain leftist credentials by defying the official leadership.
The official group is planning to take on imperialism riding the wave of globalisation and capitalism while the other is trying to retain Stalinist values. A new Marx would be needed to analysis the dialectics of the official group with considerable wealth at their disposal and the other trapped in the grip of old values.
The Achuthanandan group is indeed Stalinist in its approach. But it upholds moral values and issues that people including rightists support. The official group has been able to clip the wings of Achuthanandan as Chief Minister. Whether the people will still support their failed king is anybody’s guess.
That apart, what is worrisome for the party is parallel organisations that are coming up in places such as Shornur and Onchiam. They are led by those who had been ousted from the party. It is still too early to say whether they would grow into a movement. However, it is quite evident that they have support at the grass-root level.
This has never happened when the party threw out its leaders in the past– from the time of Peter, dictator of Punnapra Vayalar uprising, to former Minister K. R. Gouriamma. Both Gouriamma and M. V. Raghavan, who was ousted for advocating an alternate line for political alliance, formed their own political parties. But, they could not garner much ground support. While all the leaders thrown out from the party in the past lost their sheen, now local leaders thrown out from the party is growing in stature.
If the party fails to check the trend, it would be disastrous for it in an election year. But the schisms are deep and welding them will be a Herculean task.
Update (8/1/09): The meeting, as per agenda prepared by the politburo, is understood to have decided to, by and large, skip the local issues for the time being and focus on broader strategies for the Lok Sabha elections.