The CPM retorted by parading EP Jayarajan – former minister and close confidant of Vijayan – who minced no words while attacking the CPI. Jayarajan’s vitriolic outburst prompted CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran to convene a news conference in Kannur where he explained his party’s position and the Janayugom articles. But, Rajendran purposely avoided responding to Jayarajan, giving a clear hint that he will only engage in a debate with either Vijayan or CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Sources in the CPM said that though there was a difference of opinion between CPM and CPI on the strike, it never expected the CPI to publish articles that were harshly critical of the SFI and Vijayan. “The issue of humiliating Nataraja Pillai was settled by the CM on Sunday itself. He said in public that it was an error as he couldn’t recognize the name of Nataraja Pillai. So, there was no justification in criticizing him a day after,” said a CPM leader.
The CPI state secretary, who owned up responsibility for publishing the articles, however, clarified that those articles didn’t reflect the stand of CPI. “Only editorials in Janayugom are the reflections of CPI position,” Rajendran told reporters in Kannur.