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JD(S) row in Kerala: CPI(M) defends retaining Krishnankutty in Cabinet

Palakkad/Thiruvananthapuram: As the controversy over JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s statement on his party’s alliance with the BJP vis-à-vis the Kerala’s Left government raged, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan on Saturday defended retaining Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty of the JD(S) in the Cabinet and the main opposition Congress alleged it was due to fear of facing corruption cases.

Talking to reporters at Palakkad, Govindan said there was no need to remove Krishnankutty from the Kerala cabinet as the state unit of the JD(S) has clarified that they ‘stand strong’ with the Left front. ‘The stand of the Left front, the CPI(M) and Pinarayi Vijayan are always against the BJP and now, even after getting clarification from him (Vijayan) and Gowda, there is a deliberate attempt to create a false narrative,’ Govindan said. Vijayan had termed the statement ‘absurd’, he added.

Congress alleged that by justifying the continuation of the JD(S) minister in the cabinet, Govindan has become like an ‘agent’ of the BJP. The opposition party also alleged that the ‘fear of facing corruption cases’ has forced Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to retain the minister from JD(S) in the cabinet.

Leader of Opposition, V D Satheesan said the Left party has not severed its ties with the JD(S) which has joined hands with the BJP at the national level. ‘The fear of facing corruption cases has forced Pinarayi Vijayan to retain JD(S) in the state cabinet. The CPI(M) does not have the courage to ask the JD(S) minister to step down. A government controlled by the sangh parivar is ruling Kerala,’ Satheesan alleged.

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that after hearing the ‘justification of M V Govindan, it seems like CPI(M) is an ally of BJP’.

‘Govindan, who justified retaining Krishnankutty in the state cabinet, sounds like an agent of BJP. After Gowda’s revelation, Pinarayi Vijayan’s association with BJP has come to light,’ Chennithala alleged.

Vijayan on Friday rejected the claim that he had endorsed LDF’s partner JD(S) having an alliance with the BJP in Karnataka and said it was ‘both baseless and devoid of truth’.

Gowda on Friday said there is ‘some confusion’ in Kerala’s CPI(M) with regard to his party’s alliance with the BJP in Karnataka, and clarified he never said that the ruling Left party in the neighbouring state supported the tie-up.

‘There is some confusion about my statement on the CPI(M). My Communist friends do not seem to have followed what I said nor the context in which I said,’ Gowda said on social media platform X.

‘I only said my party unit in Kerala is getting along with the LDF government as things within my party units outside Karnataka remain unresolved after our alliance with the BJP. I wish CPI(M) leaders had chosen their words better or had sought clarification,’ the JD(S) patriarch said.

(Published 21 October 2023, 15:55 IST)

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