The CPI-M on Monday refuted an embarrassing allegation that some of its leaders had struck a deal with the BJP to defeat party rebels in the recent local polls in Kerala’s Palakkad district, hometown of party chief Prakash Karat.
The rebels eventually ended the party’s 28-year-old stranglehold in Palakkad. In the district’s Shornur municipal elections held in December, eight of the nine rebels won, reducing the CPI-M to a minority in the 30-member board.
“Can’t be true. The results show the BJP increased its vote share. So, the allegations are baseless,” a senior party leader said in Delhi.
A television channel had claimed that CPI-M and BJP leaders in the district were in touch in the run-up to the civic bypolls last month.
Eight rebels had forced civic bypolls by resigning in protest when their leader M.R. Murali — a supporter of Kerala CM — was expelled for refusing to step down as municipal vice-chairman.
Several central committee members feel indiscipline in the Kerala unit is becoming a growing problem. “Infighting has to be tackled,” said one of them.
Currently, in Palakkad, the rebels have eight councillors, the Congress-led UDF has 15, CPI-M 14 and BJP has one seat.