The two Left front politicians belong to different communist parties, leading to a difference of opinion between the CPI(M) and the CPI.

Collage of Veena in a white Sari and black blouse and Gopakumar in a pink shirt speaking on the phone
news Politics Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 19:38

The rift between the two Communist parties in Kerala appeared to widen on Saturday, May 14, after Health Minister Veena George approached the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) with a complaint against Deputy Speaker of State Assembly Chittayam Gopakumar, who had earlier slammed the minister for "ignoring" his constituency. Denying all the allegations, the journalist-turned-politician Veena George sent a detailed letter to the top brass of the front. The minister belongs to the CPI(M), the party leading the LDF, while Gopakumar belongs to the CPI, the biggest ally of the CPI(M).

In her letter, the minister alleged that instead of raising his concerns at appropriate forums, the Deputy Speaker had gone public with an intention of "tarnishing" her image. Gopakumar appears to have ulterior motives, she said, adding that the call records will reveal that she had answered his calls, contrary to his claims. She also alleged that the Deputy Speaker did not show "political decency", as such "baseless and needless" incidents dent the morale of the political workers in the Left front.

Several in the Left are upset over the spat at this juncture as the Thrikkakara by-election is just round the corner and it would give the Congress-led opposition a chance to use the issue against the Left during campaigning.

Meanwhile, it's reliably learnt that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his ire over the issue and strictly stated that no more washing of dirty linen in public will be accepted.

Incidentally, it was Gopakumar who accused Minister Veena of not inviting him on the completion of one year in power by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in Pathanamthitta after winning the 2021 Assembly elections. The Health Minister is entrusted with reviewing the development in the Pathanamthitta district. In her letter, she has mentioned that it was the district authorities who were responsible for inviting dignitaries and she had no role in it.

Gopakumar is a veteran CPI legislator who recently won from the Adoor constituency in the district. He had gone on record to state that he had called Minister Veena several times to speak about various issues concerning the health sector in his constituency, but that she did not answer his calls or return them.

This is not the first time that Gopakumar has gone public in expressing his displeasure with the CPI(M)-led government. In April, he slammed the CPI(M) after his photo was removed from a political event held in the Kerala Assembly on the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.

Gopakumar, 56, completed three terms from the Adoor constituency in Pathanamthitta district, a seat reserved for the SC/ST community, and was appointed the Deputy Speaker in 2021.

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