Communist Party of India-Marxist
(CPI-M) members of Parliament (MP), particularly those from Kerala, can be seen scurrying for cover when approached by members of other Opposition parties, particularly the Congress. Kerala MPs of the CPI-M
are being pilloried because the state unit voted against a proposal to re-elect party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury
to the Rajya Sabha.
Yechury was set to be re-elected from West Bengal with the support of the Congress, but the party faction closer to former general secretary Prakash Karat opposed the move. Opposition leaders — from the likes of former prime minister Manmohan Singh to former defence minister A K Antony and others — have told CPI-M
leaders how they were “amazed” at the Kerala unit’s decision. Some others have openly expressed surprise that the personal rivalry the Karats (Prakash Karat and his wife Brinda) have with Yechury should have contributed to such an important decision at a time when the Opposition is struggling to fight the Narendra Modi “juggernaut” and needed the services of the CPI-M
chief in Parliament.