CPM's 'Kannur lobby' on the back foot

CPM's 'Kannur lobby' on the back foot

Most of the powerful leaders of the CPM, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, are from Kannur district in North Kerala.

One after the other, the powerful 'Kannur lobby' of the CPM in Kerala is facing setbacks.

Most of the powerful leaders of the CPM, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, are from Kannur district in North Kerala.

The CPM in Kerala has been under the tight grip of the Kannur leaders, often referred to as the 'Kannur lobby'.

The biggest setback for the Kannur lobby was the defeat of party's Kannur district former secretary P Jayarajan in the Lok Sabha elections at Vadakara constituency in North Kerala.

Close on the heels of that, the party is in the defensive over the brutal attack on a party dissident C O T Nazeer, who contested against Jayarajan.

The rape charge against Kodiyeri's son has embarrassed the CPM-led government in Kerala that used to highlight women's safety.

The CPM, which is in power in Kerala, also cut a sorry figure as an NRI businessman ended his life allegedly owing to deliberate delay by a CPM-ruled municipality in Kannur in giving clearance to a business venture.

Despite all these setbacks, political analysts feel that the Kannur lobby will not compromise on losing its grip on the party. It is for this reason that Kodiyeri is able to continue as state secretary despite the allegations against his son.

Political analyst Josukutty C A said that even as there were reports of in-fights among the CPM leaders in Kannur, the Kannur leaders may not lose their grip over the party as they still continue to hold key positions like that of the chief minister and party secretary.

Moreover, no strong dissent voices from within the party against the Kannur lobby are likely to emerge in the present context.

However, the sexual allegation against the party secretary's son, NRI's suicide and attack of dissident worker would definitely cause damage to the CPM in Kerala, said Josukutty, who in an associate professor in political science at Kerala University.

According to a CPM sympathiser, who wished to remain anonymous, the worst setback to the Kannur lobby in recent times was the defeat of P Jayarajan.

The defeat even exposed the in-fight among the party leaders of Kannur as well as people's mandates against political violence as the Kannur leaders were often accused of perpetrating political violence, he said.

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