These are troubled days for the Kerala unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The party is still reeling under the devastating defeat it suffered in the Lok Sabha elections. It is desperately trying to find ways and means to recover from the huge electoral setback.
As if this was not enough, the Kerala CPI(M) has been subjected to acute embarrassment by the registration of a case against Binoy Kodiyeri, the elder son of CPI(M) state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. A rape and cheating case has been filed by a 33-year-old woman who claims that she has incontrovertible proof to show that her eight-year-old son is Binoy’s son and that she is ready to prove it through DNA testing!
To say that the CPI(M) has been badly rattled by the revelation will be an understatement. Of course, the party leadership is putting on a brave face in the face of the allegations. The CPI(M), which has not officially reacted to the shocking news, has taken the view that Kodiyeri and his son as two separate individuals by highlighting the technical grounds and choosing to ignore the moral angle.
Significantly, none of the top CPI(M) leaders have come out in support of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan except CPI(M) State Secretariat member MV Govindan. He said that Binoy would have to handle the case himself and that the party would not support any wrongdoing.
This is not the first time that Binoy has caused embarrassment to the party. He had hogged the headlines in 2018 when his former business partner slapped a criminal case for fraud in a court in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Binoy had to face a travel ban in the wake of this.
It may be mentioned that the CPI(M) Politburo had received a few complaints against Binoy over the UAE episode. But the leadership refrained from taking any action terming the episode as a personal issue in which senior Kodiyeri was not involved.
However, it is clear that the central leadership of the party is unhappy about the repeated charges against the party chief in Kerala. There are signs that strict instructions would be given to the Kerala unit to ensure that there is no recurrence of such episodes.
The Opposition has not, so far, reacted to the development. But it can be trusted to use the chance to belabour the CPI(M) both inside the Assembly and outside.