For the past few days the capital of Kerala has been dotted with posters of the crucial CPI(M) central committee meet. What caught the eye was the venue of the meet – the plush Hotel Hycinth— a leading four-star hotel.
The party’s decision to host the three-day meet, which began on Friday, at the lavish hotel has drawn sharp reactions from the opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They said that the move showed that the party has dumped its working class image forever.
Interestingly, the party politburo meet was held at the AKG Centre and the central committee meet was shifted to the new venue citing space crunch. However, party watchers dismissed it saying CPI(M) had conducted larger meets like the party congress at AKG Centre.
“It was a big shock to me. Two years back the party had come out with a course correction replete with warnings against opulence and extravaganza. I feel leaders have to preach what they teach,” opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said in a Facebook post.
He said the CPI(M) mouthpiece ‘Desabhimani’ has carried a front-page report on Friday giving enough credit to the luxury hotel.
“There is a mismatch between their words and deeds these days. It seems the party has failed to learn from its mistakes from West Bengal. Its corporate face has exposed again,” said BJP leader K Surnedran.
However, the party put up a brave face saying it was difficult to accommodate 85 members for the central committee meet in AKG Centre. “It is cheap to make it an issue. In fact it was part of our cost-cutting exercise. Since many central committee members were staying at the hotel we thought right to make it the venue. We have saved enough from transportation,” said the leader who did not want to be identified.