6 Feb 2009,
Kochi: Who is a real communist? The debate on who is a "true communist" or a "model communist" is raging on in the factionalised CPM of Kerala.
Despite being in existence for more than half a century, the CPM in Kerala is still debating the attributes of a true communist even as the leaders of the two rival groups within the party, Chief Minister V S Achuthananthan and Party Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, indirectly accuse each other of not being a true communist.
The debate was kicked off by Mr V S Achuthanandan when he spoke in Delhi last week. After criticizing the party's stand on SNC-Lavlin case, in which the CBI has pointed an accusing finger at Mr Pinarayi Vijayan, the former had said that those who are corrupt are not real communists. He also made it clear that he will not participate in the Nava Kerala March being led by Mr Pinarayi Vijayan.
Later speaking at a press conference during his Nava Kerala March, which was flagged off from Uppala in Kasargod on February 2, Mr Pinarayi Vijayan said that all party workers will participate in the March, indirectly hinting his bete noire is not a real communist.
Not to be outdone the second rung leaders have also taken sides, some supporting the chief minister and others rallying behind Mr Pinarayi Vijayan. Interestingly, when noted writer and the intellectual face of the party Mr K E N Kunjahammed indirectly accused Acthuthanandan of being dumb, the octogenarian chief minister retorted by saying that he would not answer to monkeys like Kunjahammed.
The debate was carried further forward by CPM leader and state minister for cooperation G. Sudhakaran on Thursday when he said that those who betray the party are not real communists in a veiled attack against the chief minister. With rebel factions of the party flexing their muscle in several parts of the state the people at large seems to ask: will the real communist please stand up?