Letter controversy: Kerala CPI(M) caught in a bind as police probe announced
Thiruvananthapuram, November 7, 2022
The CPI (M) and Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran are caught in a bind over a news report that surfaced last week that the latter had written a letter to the party's district secretary stating that there were 295 temporary vacancies in the district corporation.
However, after the Mayor denied writing any such letter to the CPI(M) leader, a high-level police Crime Branch probe was announced by the Kerala government on Monday.
It was on Sunday that Rajendran urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the first time after the controversy broke out and gave a complaint that a police probe must be conducted as she had not written the letter.
Since a vernacular daily published the letter, the Congress-led UDF in the Kerala Assembly and the BJP have been going hammer and tongs against the CPI(M), which has been ruling the corporation for the past 35 years.
On Monday, the first working day after the controversy broke out, the Corporation office resembled a battleground with a series of protests marching down towards the office and on several occasions the police used water cannons to disperse the protesters who included members of various wings of the Congress and the BJP.
A large number of people, who came to the Corporation office, were caught in the melee and there was a protest by the Left Front employees of the local civic body against the way the opposition parties were staging a "needless" protest.
Meanwhile, the 35 BJP Councillors in the Corporation urged Governor Arif Mohammed Khan for a comprehensive probe over the alleged letter and all the corruption scams that have surfaced in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, including distribution of SC/ST funds.
"The Governor has assured that he will do all that can be done," said V.V. Rajesh, the district BJP Chief.
Earlier on Monday, Khan, who has taken cudgels against the Vijayan government, said, "It's just not two letters, very soon numerous such letters also will be coming out."
Meanwhile, the Thiruvananthapuram CPI(M) unit, which is in the centre of the letter controversy, also decided to initiate a probe into the matter.
Incidentally, what remains to be seen is whether this controversy was an outcome of factionalism within the Thiruvananthapuram CPI(M) unit.