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March 27, 2011

Page: 31/36

Home > 2011 Issues > March 27, 2011

Special Report

Open revolt in CPM
Leadership under pressure to field VS Achuthanandan

By Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram

The CPI-M state secretariat and the party state committee which has sat for a marathon day long discussion has decided not to provide seat to Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan to contest in the assembly polls of 2011. While no CPI-M leader came out in the open that the party is not providing a seat for Achuthanandan to contest, there were reports in all the media that the party secretariat has decided not to field the octogenarian Communist leader for the assembly contest which was ratified by the party secretariat.

On March 17, the day after the party top brass decided not to allow VS to contest the election, there were protests throughout the state with the party workers and local youth and party leaders leading protest marches and tearing apart the huge flex boards of the CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and the State Home Minister and party politbureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was, according to party decision to lead the LDF in the assembly polls.

Sources in the CPI-M told Organiser that the CPI-M leaders were dumb stuck after the massive protest marches and according to a highly placed CPI-M leader, the available party politbureau met in New Delhi and discussed on the ramifications and the fall out of the decision in not allowing Comrade VS Achuthanandan to contest the polls.

The source also said that party politbureau members including Brinda Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Mohammed Amin and MK Panthe came out strongly against the party general secretary Prakash Karat for having remained a silent spectator while leader after leader were blasting VS Achuthanandan. The party brief, according to the source, was that if condition of no seat to VS arrives, then Prakash Karat should use his discretionary power as the party general secretary and to provide a seat to VS Achuthanandan to contest.

This, according to party insiders was a desperate attempt on the part of the highest policy making body of the CPI-M as the party is clear that it would be getting a drubbing in West Bengal and if Kerala also follows suits, then the very existence of a political party like the CPI-M would be in jeopardy. The party think tanks are also clear that the CPI-M will never be able to make a come back in the political scenario of Kerala as the party is suffering a severe dearth of leaders who have the genuine backing of party cadres and the people of the state alike.

While leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan are in the forefront owing to the position taken by the CPI-M using its iron hand of discipline, the ordinary people of Kerala who are mostly the sympathisers of the party or may be the left cause would not resonate with these leaders who are being projected by the media and by the ordinary people as arrogant and self-centric when compared to leaders like VS Achuthanandan and late Comrade Nayanar who have endeared themselves to the general public of the state.

The CPI-M, policy makers are sitting once more in the available politbureau and this would mean that the CPI-M leadership may have to do a roll reversal so as to allow the octogenarian Communist leader to lead the party and the Left Front from the front to retain the power which Left Front has been enjoying for the past five years.

Even while filing this report there is no clarity on whether the CPI-M would go for a roll reversal and project VS Achuthanandan as their leader in the coming polls. While this could be a million dollar question, given the discipline and the party structure taken into consideration by the CPI-M, one thing can be said in no unclear terms is that the party is fearing the popularity enjoyed by the veteran leader and this could be one of the major reasons for the CPI-M to take a decision on Comrade VS Achuthanandan, the only leader the party has to project as a mascot among the public of the state and to piggy ride on his popularity wave to go for a winning spree in the assembly polls for 2011.

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