Taking a divergent position, veteran CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan on Friday expressed his displeasure at the manner in which the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPI(M) on Wednesday decided to induct four new allies into its fold.
After several months of dilly-dallying, the LDF decided to include the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), the Indian National League, the Democratic Kerala Congress and the Kerala Congress (Pillai) as new allies.
On Friday, Achuthanandan broke his silence at a public meeting near Thiruvananthapuram and said that the LDF is not a place for those who continue to think on casteist lines and are communal.
The Leftist movement stands for democracy, secularism, equality and socialism and by upholding these tenets, communism has come a long way forward.
"And there is no space for those who continue to think on casteist lines and are communal," said Achuthanandan.
All along the LDF has been going hammer and tongs against the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) for being an outfit which has 'communal parties' - the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and two factions of the Kerala Congress led by K.M. Mani and Anoop Jacob.
Achuthanandan is also peeved, as the chairman of the Kerala Congress (Pillai), R.Balakrishna Pillai, a founder member of the UDF in the early 80s, in 2010 became the first Kerala politician to serve a one-year jail term in a corruption case that was taken up by Achuthanandan.
Pillai parted ways with the UDF just before the 2016 assembly polls and since then he has been with the LDF. He was given a cabinet rank soon after Pinarayi Vijayan took over as chief minister in 2016.
Among the new allies - the Democratic Kerala Congress (DKC) is a breakaway faction of the Kerala Congress (Mani). The DKC was formed ahead of the 2016 polls.
Likewise, INL is a breakaway faction of the IUML and has been going strong with the LDF for two decades now.
While media baron and Rajya Sabha member MP Veerendra Kumar's LJD was part of the LDF since its inception, in 2009, it left the coalition to join the UDF.
Vijayan and the LDF decided to induct these four parties as full-fledged allies as the Lok Sabha polls are around the corner, and the coalition is determined to win as many seats as possible, with Kerala being the last bastion of the CPI(M).
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the LDF won eight of the 20 seats that it contested.
Reacting to Achuthanandan's statement, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the media in Delhi that all such things have taken place in Kerala and it was done after the party (CPI-M) and the LDF decided to do so.
Pillai, however, said that he 'belongs' neither to the upper castes nor the lower castes, but 'belongs' to the people of Kerala.