Recently, headlines of Malayalam newspapers are engrossed with the impending merger of two factions of the Kerala Congress, led by Mani and Joseph respectively. For the uninitiated in Kerala politics, here is the lay down.
The Kerala Congress is a is a political party founded in 1964 by Mr. K.M George. It has its roots in the Indian National Congress and is traditionally dominated by the farming community of the state. The Lok Sabha constituencies of Muvattupuzha, Kottayam, Idukki and Mavelikkara have lent support to the party over the years. Over time, the Kerala Congress became notorious for its splits with over four splinter factions emerging from the parent party. The strongest of these four are the factions led by K.M Mani and P.J Joseph. The Joseph group has been supporting the LDF (an alliance led by Communists) for a long time, and this has been a cause of discontent among the Catholic community of the state. But in an important development, on 30th April 2010, Mr. Joseph announced that his group will be leaving the LDF and merging with the Mani Group, creating what will be a powerful political entity in Kerala politics.
Although the Communists have accused the Catholic church in interfering with politics and engineering this merger, the Church has made its stand clear. Fr Paul Thelakkat of Syro Malabar Church said, “In a democracy every body has their own role. Just because we are speaking on behalf of the Church, our voice should not be suppressed. Regarding the rumours that certain Bishops are involved in persuading the Kerala Congress faction to quit LDF and merge with another group is baseless. The Church or Bishops have no role in this political drama.”
Interference in religious affairs, indoctrination of children through left wing education, utilization of trade unions to destabilize the economy - all these and much more has marked the dictatorship of Communists in Kerala. At the end of the day, it should be a cause of satisfaction for all Keralites that the CPIM will find it difficult in the coming days to enforce their Soviet era agenda on society.