Karat blamed for sidelining Achuthanandan
Last updated: 17 March, 2011
R Gopakumar, Thiruvananthapuram, March 17, DHNS: 23:00 IST
An ''available'' politburo (PB) of the CPM held at A K G Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday is reported to have criticised general secretary Prakash Karat for not intervening effectively to ensure that V S Achuthanandan led the party in the Kerala elections.
The PB which met with five members “available” in Delhi debated for about two hours the denial of seat to Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and its fallout.
Seven members had participated in a similar PB meeting held in Delhi before party general secretary Prakash Karat and PB member S Ramachandran Pillai left for Kerala. It was decided then that the duo would convey the general sentiments of the PB that V S Achuthanandan should lead the party.
It now transpires that Karat and Pillai had indeed conveyed this ‘wish’ to PB members from Kerala, party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. However, when both rejected this, Karat did not make the customary ‘reporting’ of the PB decision at the state secretariat which later decided against Achuthanandan contesting the elections.
Later, Vijayan who has over a decade-long rivalry with the chief minister told the state committee which met soon after that Achuthanandan was keeping away from the elections due to ill-health. Achuthanandan who addressed the state committee also parroted this ridiculous claim though he had publicly stated a few days ago that he would surely lead the front in the elections if asked to do so.
Several district committees (DCs) of the CPM, to which the “decision of VS not to contest” was officially conveyed, expressed dismay at the development. Some supporters of even Vijayan expressed reservations at keeping VS away from the poll scene since he was instrumental in ‘exposing’ UDF.
The Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kollam DCs were particularly peeved at the turn of events at this hour. Members said that Achuthanandan’s absence would certainly have a bearing on the outcome of the elections and it could have been avoided. However, the State Committee leaders claimed that it was Achuthanandan’s own decision not to contest because of ill-health.
Demonstrations were taken out in several parts of the state on Wednesday and Thursday against the CPM leadership though not on a scale that was seen when the party stunned everyone by denying a seat to VS in 2006. It was later reviewed and Achuthanandan not only led the LDF to victory but also became chief minister.