Thiruvananthapuram: Even as flood waters recede in Kerala and people struggle to restore some semblance of normality to their lives, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) is facing allegations of grabbing relief supplies streaming into the state.

In Munnar, none other than the Communist Party of India (CPI), the CPM’s key ally in the ruling coalition, alleged that CPM cadres were diverting relief supplies arriving from Tamil Nadu, addressed to the Idukki district collector, to the local CPM office, and then distributing them in vehicles carrying the CPM party flag. When CPI workers raised objections, a skirmish ensued between supporters of the two parties.

CPI workers accused the CPM of taking credit for relief supplies sent to the state from across its border and giving the wrong impression that relief materials were being collected by the CPM.

In Kochi, the CPI alleged that a truckload of relief material sent by CPI workers in Salem, Tamil Nadu, was diverted by some former CPI workers to the CPM office.

According to CPI officials, the truck carrying a tonne of rice, sugar and other provisions coming from Tamil Nadu to be delivered at the district council office of the CPI in Kochi, was diverted to the CPM office in Kochi by some who had left the CPI recently and joined the CPM.

Police intervened after a heated argument developed between CPI and CPM workers over the supplies from Tamil Nadu, and the relief materials were then reloaded on to the truck and taken to the CPI district council office.

A CPM area secretary, P.M. Seenulal, was quoted as denying any involvement of his party cadres in the incident. He said the party was getting a lot of relief material from various sources and that those were being reached to the affected people.

The incidents prompted many to take to social media to criticise the CPM’s action. “If this is the case when 10 sacks of rice arrive, what will happen to all the funds that come for flood relief?” one of them wrote. Another commented sarcastically that it was only a “family problem” between the two lefist parties.

Yet another social media user said it was sad that such elements in the party were tarnishing the good work being done by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.