Out of politburo, Achuthanandan is miffed

Out of politburo, Achuthanandan is miffed

Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan was clearly upset Monday after he failed to make it into the politburo of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

"I have nothing to say," the blunt speaking politician said as he came out of the venue of the CPI-M leadership meet.

Not one to hide his feelings, he reportedly told his colleagues that he would not participate in the public rally that follows the end of a party congress and in which all top leaders take part.

He told reporters: "I will work in the party as before. Since I have to  reach Thiruvananthapuram early, I am unable to take part in the public rally and meeting."
He added: "The new politburo will help guide the party smoothly."

Speculation immediately mounted on what the opposition leader in the Kerala assembly would now do, with several of his close aides deserting to the rival Kerala CPI-M faction headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

Achuthanandan has been in the politburo, the CPI-M's highest decision making body, since 1985. The others in the politburo from Kerala include Vijayan, the powerful party state secretary, former home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and new member and legislator M.A. Baby.

In a political career spanning seven decades, Achuthanandan, who has studied only up to Class 7, has held almost every major post in the party including that of state secretary from 1980 to 1992.

Things were fine for the veteran till a decade back when the tiff with Vijayan took a turn for the worse. But his tirade against Vijayan only increased. On two occasions, he was given a ticket to contest the assembly elections. The party reversed the decision following protests.

He became only the fourth Communist to head a government in Kerala after E.M.S. Namboodiripad, C. Achutha Menon and E.K. Nayanar.  When his relations with Vijayan soured, he was ousted from the politburo in 2009.

By the end of his five-year term as chief minister in 2011, his position in the party further weakened, with many of his loyalists crossing over to the Vijayan faction.
In February, Vijayan was unanimously elected the secretary in Kerala for the fourth successive term.

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