It's been more than 2 years since Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T P Chandrasekharan was brutally hacked to death in Kerala but the incident still rankles to this day.
It is alleged that Chandrasekharan was murdered by disgruntled CPI(M) activists who had an axe to grind with him because he had formed a splinter outfit in the CPI(M) stronghold of Onchiyam in Kozhikode district and had lured several of its former members.
Chandrasekharan was formerly a member of the CPI (M), but was apparently expelled from the party as a fallout of some ideological differences. He then formed the breakaway Revolutionary Marxist Party and became its leader.
K K Rema, wife of the slain leader, took over the reins of the RMP after his death. Born into a communist family, she was an active member of Students Federation of India (SFI) and was in the state committee of SFI till the end of her studies.
While speaking to The News Minute on a range of issues, Rema said that the recent victory of CPI(M) in the RMP stronghold of Onchiyam was just technical in nature because they had won by only one seat, on the back of alliances with some communal groups.
Rema with TP Chandrasekharan and son
On whether the party could have fielded a candidate against Karayi Rajan whose name had cropped up in the Chandrasekharan murder case, Rema was of the opinion that it was foolishness to expect an 8-year-old party to field a large number of candidates in all the places and that the party would expand its reach gradually.
Changing tack, Rema said that VS Achuthanandan was comrade Chandrashekharan’s political mentor and that they had met several times and engaged in many phone conversations also.
“VS has never said RMP was a mistake, he never betrayed us. He was a solace for me after Chandrashekharan’s death. He did speak against CPI(M) publicly. But the support was limited as he was inside the party and we were out of it,” said Rema acknowledging Achuthanandan’s backing.
Denying that there was any deterioration in the relationship with Achuthanandan, Rema said that their only objection was that VS was not able to take his fight to a a bigger scale and had to compromise with the party many times, as he was a member of the party.
In a candid assessment of the prevailing state of affairs, she said “People believe in left politics, but they will one day realize that CPI(M) has also shifted to right politics indirectly. There is no difference between parties here. Alternate parties that are potentially able to challenge the established ones should come here. They should question the politics of violence. We should realize that CPI(M) masks the criminals. RMP is such an alternate option.”
Rema felt that her husband had become a tool for political parties to indulge in a blame game while there was no sincerity in the case investigation. “We did not get justice; the loss was for me and for Onchiyam”.
On being asked if Pinarayi Vijayan was their main rival, she said that the party doesn’t have any personal grudges against him. However, she added, “He was the main reason for Chandrashekharan’s murder, and he was the reason for the deterioration of CPI(M). This is not what we expect from a left party leader.”
Denying rumours about RMP allying with UDF and looking ahead, Rema said that there were never any such plans. "It was an allegation spread by CPI (M). RMP will be an independent party and most probably we will have a member in the next assembly".