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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Kerala comrades spar over vada, tea

The rival factions in the state CPI-M unit are at each other's throats again, and this time it's all about the humble dal vada, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2007 01:50 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times

The rival factions in the state CPI-M unit are at each other's throats again, and this time it has nothing to do with the demolition drive in Munnar or the Asian Development Bank loan. This time, it's all about the humble dal vada.

The hardliners, followers of Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, are serving crunchy vadas and black tea with a vengeance at party meetings and functions to teach the Pinarayi Vijayan-led reformists a lesson. The catalyst for this sudden vada fixation: party central committee member EP Jayarajan's recent outburst following his ouster from party mouthpiece Desabhimani for allegedly accepting funds from a lottery king. Addressing a party meeting in Kannur, he had reminded his fellow comrades of the need to change with the times. "With beedi and thadi (beard), I don't think we can attract many to the party anymore. If we continue to gulp kattan chaya (black tea) and gobble up parippu (dal) vada, nobody will be there to follow us," he had said.

In the old days, dal vada, black tea and Dinesh beedi (a co-operative controlled by the CPM) were essential ingredients of all party meetings.

Taking a dig at those who swear by the old style, the Vijayan loyalist had added: "They find fault with everything the party puts its hands on. Super specialty hospitals and water theme parks are eyesores for them."

The Achuthanandan camp couldn't let the criticism go unanswered. "Vada and black tea are symbols of proletarianism. How can you dump them? It shows the ideological degeneration," a senior aide of the CM said indignantly.

Last week, many VS supporters toasted Jayarajan's removal with piping hot vadas. Some even sent recipes to their followers. The spicy treat now occupies pride of place in all snack joints around the party offices.

First Published: Aug 18, 2007 01:47 IST