People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXVII

No. 13

March 31, 2013

 

                                                                            

 

KERALA NEWSLETTER

 

Kannur to Make CITU Conf a Grand Success

 

N S Sajith

 

KANNUR, a land of powerful struggles and a cradle of peasant and working class movements, is today poised to make the coming all-India conference of the CITU a grand success. Lakhs of workers all over this southern district of Kerala are burning midnight oil to create a history by making the conference a memorable one. The conference will commence on April 4 and culminates on April 8 with a massive rally of two lakh people. Receiving an impetus from the historic two-day all-India strike held in February and a number of other struggles against the neo-liberal policies of the UPA government, the working class movement in Kerala has made huge preparations to open a new chapter in the history of the working class movement in India. The month long preparations in the district have already reached a feverish pitch.

 

This is the third time an all-India conference of the militant trade union centre of India would take place in Kerala. Kochi, the commerce and industrial capital of Kerala, was the venue of the CITUís previous all-India conferences in 1973 and 1997.

 

Kannur, the land of textile and beedi industries, has played an active role in the formative years of the trade union movement in Kerala. The unions formed in the textile mills and various beedi making units was the backbone of democratic forces in the state. In the forties the trade union movement and the peasant movement developed simultaneously with the massive national struggle against the British colonial rule and feudal exploitative practices.

 

The people of Kannur have enthusiastically and wholeheartedly received the CITU call for districtwide preparatory programmes. The whole district has literally turned into a see of red.

 

Elamaram Kareem, general secretary of the CITU state committee, and K P Sahadevan, general convener of the reception committee, say the preparations for the conference are highly innovative. Programmes were organised at 200 centres in the district, and 30,000 retired workers attended in these programmes. Organizing committees from the district level down to the ward level were formed. As many as 17 seminars on various subjects were organised during the run-up to the conference, and leaders from various trade unions attended these seminars. An exhibition portraying the history of the trade union movement in Kerala was inaugurated by film artist, Kalabhavan Mani, on March 28. Various sports and cultural events were also organised in the different parts of the district. Small jathas, conveying the message of the conference, were also taken out.

 

Apart from the CITUís leaders, those of the AITUC, INTUC, BMS, HMS and UTUC will also take part in the inaugural session, the organisers said. 

 

CHIEF WHIP EXPOSES MINISTER'S

EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR

Reflecting the ugly state of affairs in the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), its chief whip, P C George, recently levelled a serious allegation of sexual misconduct against the forest minister K B Ganesh Kumar, a film actor and representative of the Kerala Congress (Balakrishna). P C George from the Kerala Congress (Mani), who has been in a consistent struggle against his rivalís father, R Balakrishnapillai, also said that Ganesh was beaten up by his loverís husband. George also demanded Ganesh Kumarís resignation.

 

George made the allegation on March 3 after a Thiruvananthapuram newspaper broke the story of attack against one of the ministers. The story said that an (unnamed) minister had been beaten by a man who is the husband of ministerís girlfriend. In a surprising move soon thereafter, George divulged that the minister concerned was Ganesh Kumar, and then also added that the whole cabinet was in the shadow of suspicion.

 

In reaction to this allegation, Ganesh Kumar said he would sue the chief whip.

 

George, who has been attacking Ganesh Kumar on the issue of Nelliyampathi forestland issue, demanded that the chief minister must ask the minister to quit. ďI was aware of it on the very next day of the February 21 incident.  Ganeshís children and his girl friendís children are in the same school. An illicit relation thus started from the school. The problem started when the ladyís husband reached from abroad. He husband directly went to the ministerís residence and beat him up. The minister was then left out from two cabinet meetings following this incident. Ganeshís wife, Dr Yamini, too knows about this and it was she who had informed the ladyís husband,Ē he said.  

 

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala termed this allegation as unfortunate. In the meanwhile, Dr Yamini met R Balakrishnapillai, the father of Ganesh Kumar.

 

On March 4, immediately after the revelation, the CPI(M) said K B Ganesh Kumar had no right to continue as a minister in the backdrop of the grave allegation levelled by P C George. The allegation of sexual misconduct against Ganesh Kumar was extremely serious, the CPI(M) state secretariat said in a statement on the day.

 

The statement further said that the chief minister, Oommen Chandi, should have taken a decision on this issue by that time. If the allegation of the chief whip was found wrong, George should be removed. The statement wondered whether the chief minister was trying to protect both Ganesh Kumar and P C George, and hush-hush settle the issue. The chief whip would not have courage to make such a statement without the prior permission of the chief minister, the statement said, adding that the UDF has lost on the criterion of collective responsibility.

 

SHUKKUR CASE:

BLOW TO POLICE STORY

Giving yet another blow to the police version in Shukkur case, which led to the arrest and further remand of the CPI(M)ís Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan and state committee member T V Rajesh, the prosecution witnesses recently said in the court that they had not given any statement to the police against these leaders. Abu and Sabir, both of whom are active Muslim League workers, revealed on February 14, in an affidavit filed in the Munsif Court in Thalipparamb in Kannur, that the police claim was fictitious.

 

The story prepared by the police had claimed these witnesses had stated that they had overheard the conspiracy allegedly hatched by P Jayarajan and T V Rajesh to kill Shukkur while they were under treatment in the Thalipparamb Cooperative Hospital after a political scuffle between the Muslim League and the CPI(M) on February 20, 2012. One may recall that Section 118 of the Indian Penal Code (concealing the design to commit an offence) was one of the sections under which the police had filed a criminal case against these CPI(M) leaders. The police had claimed that these leaders were aware of the killing as they were present on the spot when U V Venu, CPI(M) local committee secretary, issued orders for Shukkurís murder.

 

In their recent affidavit, Abu and Sabir said that they had not made any such statement to the police and that they had not been in the premises of the said cooperative hospital on that day. They said they were active workers of the Muslim League and therefore there was no question of their visiting the hospital ward where prominent leaders of the CPI(M) were admitted after an incident of political violence.

 

This affidavit is likely to make an impact on the trial in Shukkur case and give a huge setback to the police conspiracy hatched under the patronage of the chief minister Oommen Chandi and home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan for the arrest of senior CPI(M) leaders. It is also to be noted that the prosecution lawyer often quoted the alleged statement of these witnesses in order to object to the bail petition of Jayarajan and Rajesh.