Contrary to the general norm, in the CPI-M, the most powerful person has always been the State secretary only then comes the Chief Minister.
When Vijayan was at the helm in the party when his arch-rival V.S.Achuthanandan was the chief minister between 2006-11, the former literally was running the show. But in 2016, when he became the chief minister, the roles were reversed and the state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, was only a shadow of him. Since then, Vijayans’ words have been the last both in the party and in the ruling Left Democratic Front government.
Though in the 2016 Assembly polls, it was the ageing Achuthanandan who was the star campaigner but after winning the polls, the veteran was sidelined and in came Vijayan. After five years in governance, thanks to the Covid pandemic and the huge acknowledgment the party got in handling the pandemic, for the first time he led the poll campaign and created history by becoming the first government to retain office.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said this surprise victory appears to have got into his head and right from day one starting from the formation of his cabinet, it was only his wish that became a reality.
"He perhaps thought things will go smoothly as in his first term, even when the accusations of gold smuggling surfaced. But with his choice of Ministers falling flat and a fresh round of revelations made by the prime accused in the gold smuggling case- Swapna Suresh making sound ground and the tiff with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan taking centre stage, Vijayan appears to be on a sticky wicket," said the critic.
And the first signs that all is not well in his camp, often referred to as the Kannur faction in the CPI-M from where Vijayan too hails, came when M.V.Govindan the new state secretary of the Kerala unit of the CPI-M, was elevated to the politburo.
The one person who appears to be wounded was former State Industries Minister E.P.Jayarajan, who is senior to Govindan and another person who appears to be left in the lurch is former State Health Minister and Kannur Lok Sabha member P.K.Sreemathi.
While both of them have fired the first salvo, dropping enough hints that they are unhappy, unlike the Congress party, in the CPI-M, any wrong move made by any, can lead to dangerous levels and hence Jayarajan on Wednesday said none needs to look deeply on why he was absent from the Raj Bhavan siege of his party on Tuesday.
He said he is getting old and has age related issues and Govindan is the best suited person as he (Jayarajan) has limitations in holding high positions.
Another person, also from Kannur, who is having issues with Vijayan is former legislator P.Jayarajan, but he is playing the waiting game.
So with the first signs of a sort of questioning the hegemony of Vijayan being made indirectly by both E.P.Jayarajan and Sreemathi surfacing, all eyes are on the way the fresh revelations made by Swapna Suresh goes and if there is going to be any adverse remark, then Vijayan’s position might get weakened.