CPM expels aides of Achuthanandan for anti-party activities

Move to clip wings of veteran leader

Three personal staff members of former chief minister V S Achuthanandan have been expelled from the CPM over alleged anti-party activity, as the official faction of the party led by its state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan set about clipping the wings of the veteran leader.

The party secretariat’s decision to expel Achutanandan’s personal assistant A Suresh, his press secretary K Balakrishnan and additional private secretary Sasidharan was ratified by the State Committee on Sunday.

All the three were party members working with Achutanandan since he became chief minister seven years ago. Suresh is always with 87-year old Achuthanandan and accompanies him on all his trips.

The two others assist him to prepare his statements and speeches. The trio were charged with leaking out a report of the state leadership criticising the Achutanandan government for demolishing illegal construction in the hill station of Munnar.

The report, submitted to the party congress held in Coimbatore in 2007, said that “the Munnar operation” was carried out by Achuthanandan without consulting the party, as it was his personal agenda. It is alleged that illegal constructions of several CPM senior leaders in the state were demolished in the drive led by two IAS officers and an IPS officer hand-picked by VS.

Ripples in state politics

The report created ripples in the state politics. Following the “leak” of the report to the media, the state leadership appointed a two-member committee comprising Party Central Committee member Vijayaraghavan and state secretariat member Vaikkom Vishwan, belonging to the Pinarayi faction, to probe into the allegations against the trio. The committee found the allegations to be correct.

Though the state leadership initiated action against VS’ aides four years ago on the basis of the report, it was kept in abeyance owing to the intervention of the central leadership.

But Achuthanandan’s strong anti-party in CPM rebel Chandrashekharan’s murder and his recent allusion that in a tacit collusion with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Industry Minister Kunhalikutty, Pinarayi was trying to oust him from the post of opposition leader, provoked the official faction to take action against his personal staff.  
Now, the party will decide who will be appointed in the three posts and the incumbents will be Pinarayi’s nominees.

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