CPM unit relents, VS to lead party again

CPM unit relents, VS to lead party again

Reading out the list of party candidates here,  CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said Achuthanandan will contest from his sitting seat of Malampuzha in Palakkad district.

Though he described Achuthanandan as the undisputed leader of the party, Vijayan parried in his inimitable style questions on why the chief minister was denied a seat initially.

Vijayan, who also has a running factional feud with Achuthanandan, was reportedly instrumental in denying a seat to him for challenging the party policies and violating discipline at will.

However, with Achuthanandan raising several issues which recently put the Opposition UDF on the defensive, it was a logical assumption that the LDF would gain from his leadership in the election. With Vijayan and his men in no mood to allow Achuthanandan to contest, it was up to the Politburo to intervene.

An “available” Politburo met in Delhi for the third time on Wednesday and Thursday with Prakash Karat contacting members from West Bengal too. The Politburo later arrived at a unanimous decision that Achuthanandan should lead the party in the elections and the message was conveyed to the state unit here.

Sources say that the decks were cleared for a favourable response from the state unit on Wednesday evening itself with many party leaders echoing the general feeling that there would be a backlash if the popular chief minister was kept away.

Despite his indiscipline and other issues, Achuthanandan was a relentless crusader against corruption which saw former UDF minister Balakrishna Pillai being jailed recently. His campaigning would benefit the LDF candidates immensely.

Gimmick won’t work

Meanwhile, the Congress has termed developments in the CPM a gimmick which would not fetch votes for the party or the LDF. “This is the end of a drama intended to catch votes. This is a pitiable commentary on the LDF government’s non-performance that it has to rely on gimmicks to survive,” said Kerala PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala. 

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