Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan has opened a new front in his fight against the party faction led by Pinarai Vijayan in the Kerala unit of the CPI (M) by identifying himself with the cause of the party rebels at Onchiyam in Kozhikode district.
What is most striking about his latest statement made at a press conference is the comparisons made between Pinarai and S. A. Dange (chairman of the undivided communist party, 1962-64) as well as the comrades of Ochiyam and those who rebelled against the Dange line. The comparison between those who opposed Dange and those who rebelled at Ochiyam is far-fetched. However, what Achuthanandan wants to project here is his role in splitting the CPI in 1964 accusing Dange of revisionism.
However, those who think that Mr. Achuthanandan would split the party now would probably be disappointed. His words have hardly ever been followed by deeds. He is known to put two steps forward and two steps backwards, be it his Munnar mission as Chief Minister or crusade in the party.
He would find strategic and policy justifications to explain his stand in party for a, though they would not be acceptable to the opposite camp. He has already noted that it is party’s policy to bring back deserters instead of branding them as betrayers of the communist collective and renegades and preventing their eventual return.
Moreover, what better strategy is there than to identify with the slain T. P. Chandrasekharan on the run up to the by-election when the murder was bound to affect the party’s prospects at Neyyattinkara. Moreover, there is simmering anger among a section of the party cadre in the Malabar area over the murder in which the needle of suspicion is pointed to the CPI (M). The storm being created by Mr. Achuthanandan would persuade at least many of them to stay on and fight from within the party against policy aberrations.