Achuthanandan asked to go? Politburo says it is rumour


Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: The rift between Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan took an ugly turn Friday with the party’s state secretariat reportedly asking Achuthanandan to step down. The central leadership however dismissed these reports as “rumour”.

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A party source said the state secretariat had demanded the chief minister step down.

“Things have flared up in the party because of the manner in which the chief minister is functioning and his consistent defiance of party directives is the root cause of all the present problems in the party,” said the source who did not wish to be identified.

However, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai termed electronic media reports as rumours.

“When we contacted, our Kerala leadership informed us that anything related to the chief minister was not discussed in today’s secretariat meeting,” Pillai told IANS in New Delhi.

However, party sources here said the state secretariat meeting discussed the manner in which Achuthanandan has been allegedly defying the party stand.

The said the meeting discussed the state cabinet’s move Wednesday to forward a report of Advocate General (AG) C.P. Sudhakara Prasad to Governor R.S. Gavai, giving a clean chit to Vijayan who is an accused in a corruption case involving Canadian firm SNC Lavalin.

A section of the state unit was angry that the move was delayed even after the state secretariat had last week asked the chief minister forward the AG report to the governor.

According to the sources, none of the secretariat members except M.C. Josephine defended Achuthanandan, while even his cabinet colleagues asked him to resign if he continued to defy the party line. However, Achuthanandan defended himself.

The long-running feud between the two leaders came into the open in 2006, ahead of the assembly polls when Achuthanandan was initially denied the ticket. As their spat continued, they both were dropped from the politburo in May 2007, only to be taken back in October 2007.

The latest spat comes just a week before the Lok Sabha election results are announced.