In a sign of the rift between the Nair Service Society (NSS) and the LDF-led government, the NSS has dissolved one of its Taluk Unions after the union president allegedly welcomed a CPI candidate to its office. The Mavelikkara Taluk Union of the community organisation was dissolved on Sunday after Chittayam Gopakumar, CPI candidate in the Mavelikkara constituency, visited the office on March 19, seeking votes.
All the 15 union members, except the president, advocate TK Prasad, were summoned to the NSS headquarters in Perunna on Sunday and asked to submit their resignations, effectively dissolving the Union. "They were asked to give their resignation in writing. After that they were made members of an ad-hoc committee which was formed excluding me," TK Prasad told TNM.
The Mavelikkara constituency has been allotted for the CPI of the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front.
According to Prasad, the decision to dissolve the committee was that of NSS General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair. "I didn't give any reception to Gopakumar as it is alleged. He visited the union office seeking votes, which is usual during elections. I offered him a seat and spoke to him, which is a courtesy we should show to our guests. I don't know what irked the NSS head. Other committee members were also present when Gopakumar came. But the NSS is now alleging that I had asked all of them to be present at that time, which is baseless," he said.
The 62-year-old has been associated with the NSS for nearly 40 years, and has held the post of union president for one and a half years.
NSS represents the dominant Nair community in the state, with the districts of Central Kerala serving as its stronghold. It is headquartered in Perunna, near Changanassery in Kottayam, while Mavelikkara is located in the neighbouring Alappuzha district.
The NSS began its open dispute with the Left after the government supported the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter and pray at Sabarimala temple. The organisation wasn't invited for a meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to form the Women's Wall - a human chain created on January 1 - to support the Sabarimala verdict.
The powerful community outfit has traditionally supported the Congress party, but its members and associates do not necessarily follow its political leanings.
Other community organisation leaders, such as Vellappally Natesan of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam and Punnala Sreekumar of Kerala Pulayar Sabha, had been assigned important roles in the movement, which the Left describes as a Renaissance move.
The rift between the NSS and the government widened in the days followed the Women’s Wall, resulting in a verbal spat between Pinarayi and Sukumaran Nair, and between the CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and the NSS head.
The Perunna office has denied the report.