The Congress on Sunday stepped in to woo the Communist Party of India (CPI), the second-largest constituent of Kerala's ruling LDF, as its relationship with the front major, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), blew hot and cold.
At a public meeting in Kottayam, senior Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, in the presence of CPI's Assistant State Secretary Prakash Babu, recalled the glorious days of Kerala were when the state was led by Chief Minister C. Achutha Menon, who headed a CPI-Congress combine 1969-77.
"No one has any doubt on what is often described as the golden period of Kerala. Numerous development initiatives were flagged off during this period. If not today, let us all hope that there arises an occasion tomorrow that we (Congress and CPI) can stand together, for the good of our state," said Radhakrishnan, a two-time state minister.
Former state Finance Minister and former Maharashtra Governor K.Sankaranarayan was another Congress leader who heaped praises on the CPI on Sunday.
"The CPI is a party that has credible leaders and all of them conduct themselves in a very decent way and have high regards for them, as I have worked with them in the seventies," he said at a public function in Kasargode.
The CPI and the CPI-M have been frequently skirmishing since the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front assumed office in May last year, with a flashpoint over fate of state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who faced charges of land grab encroaching on government land, leading to the four CPI ministers boycotting the weekly cabinet meeting on November 15.
As the spat between the two Communist parties was at its height, CPI's state Secretary Kanam Rajendran had reminded the CPI-M that they should not forget that whenever the CPI-M ruled the state, the CPI was always with them and they should not forget that they were sitting on the sidelines, when the CPI ruled in the 1970s.
In the 140-member Kerala Assembly, the government coalition has 91 members, with the CPI having 19 legislators.