When they are to celebrate the first anniversary of the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the main constituents of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), CPI(M) and the second largest party in the front, CPI are engaged in a fratricidal war making public the discontent that is brewing within the ruling front.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in a press conference called to reply CPI criticism against the government, defended the party and the government on all issues to which the CPI has openly expressed their criticism. CPI has made it clear that the stand taken by the government on the alleged encounter killing of Maoist leaders in Nilambur, the use of UAPA acts against political dissidents, the position taken by the government in giving reply to RTI questions regarding the cabinet decisions, and the CPI(M)'s aggressive posturing against evicting encroaches in Munnar are against the declared policies of the Left front.
In a diplomatically worded reply to CPI, Balakrishnan said that the ruling parties must be aware of the fact that their public expression of dissent is being used by the Congress and other opposition parties politically. Though he said his party is open to discussion with the CPI on any issues, he categorically defended the policies of the government which CPI has criticised.
The defence, the left leader made for the alleged encounter killing ,the unbridled use of UAPA by the left government speaks volumes about CPI(M). Are they using the languages used by other bourgeois ruling parties to defend the acts of Pinarayi Vijayan government?
The defence put forward for the Nilambur killing, by the state secretary of CPI(M) who is also the politburo member of the party, had uncanny resemblance with other leaders of bourgeois party leaders who used to support the high handed approach of the security forces. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan like the DGP Loknath Behra, who exulted after two Maoist leaders were killed by saying that it is a feather in Kerala police cap, said it was not an encounter and they were killed when they were engaged in a gun battle with the police.
This is same line of argument that the different political parties, be it Congress or BJP put forward to defend cold blooded murders of political dissidents.
CPI(M) state secretary also defended the use of UAPA against the political dissidents in Kerala. He said unlike during the period of Congress led United Democratic Front government, the government is taking extreme care against the misuse of the UAPA. It is to be remembered that the government after severe criticism from civil society decided to re -examine some of the cases in which UAPA were slapped. But so far nothing has happened, and several people are languishing in jail without even getting bail.
At the national level CPIM used to join protests by human rights and civil rights groups against slapping UAPA against human right activists and political activists. But in Kerala where they rule it is different story. And Kodiyeri Balakrishanan’s and many other leader’s unabashed defence of this policy lays bare the double standard of the party vis a vis this draconian law.
Pinaryi Vijayan government has earlier taken stand that no information on cabinet decision will be furnished through the RTI before it is implemented. This is also criticised by CPI and other organisations, but despite this, CPI (M) is continuing to defend this saying that publicising cabinet decisions would hamper the implementation.
These are the logic expressed by everybody who hates transparency in administration.
Though Balakrishnan has played down schism within the ruling front and his diplomatic wordings might be helpful to mend differences with CPI, the position his party is taking on various issues is further reflection that the lesson from the Bengal is hard for ruling CPI M to learn. The war with in the front has brought this once again to the fore