Verdict to strengthen VS`s position in CPI-M
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 20:18
Thiruvananthapuram: Despite Congress-led UDF in Kerala managing to wrest power from LDF with a slim majority, outgoing Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, who helped the combine regain much of the lost ground it lost in 2009 Lok Sabha elections and civic polls last year, is seen as "the man of the match", which has strengthened his position in CPI-M.

The veteran CPI-M leader, who set the agenda for the polls by bringing issues like corruption and sex scandals to sharp focus, had mounted a spirited campaign across the state which was the single most factor that helped LDF to shore up its sagging support base reflected in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

In the process, he also won support and admiration of all sections including women, youth, rights campaigners and green groups, cutting across political divides.

Significantly, for the first time in the history of the CPI-M in Kerala, the LDF candidates sought vote by putting up posters showing them standing with Achuthanandan.

Though this "personality cult" created some murmurs among sections in the party leadership, no one dared to come out openly against it.

Before the state turned into the poll mode, the situation was taken as hugely favourable for the UDF. Going by the Lok Sabha and civic polls, the UDF tally was expected to touch 100.

The situation was dramatically reversed by Achuthanandan just three months ago by bringing to focus issues like 'ice cream parlour sex' case and corruption following conviction of former state minister and KC(B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai in a graft case, which he had persistently pursued.

Though the rival faction in CPI-M led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had plans to retire the senior leader, the turn of events in the last few months earned tremendous grassroot support to Achuthanandan, which ultimately compelled the party to go to the polls under his leadership.


First Published: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 20:18

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