Thiruvananthapuram: While the CPM has heaved a sigh of relief following M K Damodaran’s decision to quit the post of legal advisor to the chief minister, many believe the ruling party could have avoided the needless controversy right in the beginning of its term.
The manner in which CPM leadership was at pains to defend Damodaran, indicated that its arguments in favour of the lawyer did not hold much ground. Earlier veteran leader Achuthanandan used to play the role of a corrective force within the party and government. Whenever there were instances of deviation from the well stated policies of the party, he used to step in promptly triggering a discussion within the party.
But this time around Achuthanandan steered clear of directly criticising Damodaran for taking up cases of lottery baron Santiago Martin. The veteran leader, who fought a relentless battle against the lottery mafia, expressed his displeasure over the issue indirectly. “I fought the case because of which Santiago Martin who was taking away money from here, had to leave lock, stock and barrel. We managed to throw him out of the state,” he reminded.
With the CPM being in double mind over Damodaran, the BJP took advantage of the situation. Kumannam Rajashekharan filed a petition alleging that Damodaran violated bar council norms which prevented advocates holding official positions from appearing against the state government. Even CPI Ministers had expressed their displeasure over Damodaran. The party’s student wing AISF was more forthright in demanding Damodaran’s resignation.
On the other hand the CPM tried to put up a brave face all through saying it was Damodran’s discretion to choose cases. Sources said though there were differences within the ruling party over Damodaran fighting cases against the government, the leadership wanted the veteran lawyer to leave on his own. Many in the LDF believe that Damodaran issue is a wake up call for the CPM led government to avoid such pointless controversies in future. The government which came to power with a massive mandate will have to rise up to the aspirations of the people.