Kottayam,Kerala, Mar 2: After hectic parleys, the central leadership of the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday managed to avert a poll to elect its Kerala secretary securing the unanimous selection of veteran CPI trade union leader Kannam Rajendran for the post.
After the new 89-member state council was elected on Monday, the central leadership, comprising national general secretary Sudhakar Reddy besides other leaders, spoke individually to former state minister K.E. Ismail (who had expressed his desire to contest) and Rajendran, and prevailed upon the former to withdraw from the fray.
Ever since the 22nd state party conference of the CPI began here last week, it was all about hectic parleys as both Ismail and Rajendran harboured intentions of becoming the new secretary.
The CPI state conference is held once in three years and Rajendran’s name had come up in the last state conference also. But following the intervention of the national leadership, compromise candidate Paniyan Ravindran was chosen as the secretary.
CPI is the second biggest party in the Left Opposition after the CPI-M. Of the 65 legislators (in the 140-member Kerala assembly) in the Left opposition, CPI has 13 legislators.
The only CPI Lok Sabha member of the party in the country is C.N. Jayadevan, who won the Thrissur Lok Sabha elections last year.
Sixtyfour-year-old Rajendran, who hails from this district began as a student leader and is a two-time legislator. But for the past several years he has confined his activities to party organisational work.
Popular media analyst S. Jayasankar said Rajendran becoming the new secretary is the best thing that could have happened to the CPI.
“He should have been appointed the secretary at the last conference itself. His organisational skills are an asset for the party and he is also a very good parliamentarian,” said Jayasankar.