Achuthanandan wins turf war, will contest polls

Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan would contest the polls from Malampuzha.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 16:33 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram: In a repeat of what happened in 2006, the central leadership of the Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI(M), Friday, reversed its decision of denying Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan a party ticket for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

The change in the party’s stand was announced by party’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference here, who interestingly is known as Achuthanandan’s bete noire.

Today, a strait faced Vijayan while announcing the list of candidates, approved by the Polit Bureau, without betraying any surprise or emotion, read out VS Achuthanandan’s name as the party’s candidate from Malampuzha. Achuthanandan’s name was 39th on the list.

When asked by reporter about the sudden change in party’s decision, Vijayan said, “He (Achuthanandan) has been contesting since 1967 so it is not a new thing.”

He added that Achuthanandan needs no one to plead his case; it is the party’s decision.

Vijayan, as per reports, has also accepted that the Chief Minister will himself lead the poll campaign and not by his confidant Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, as was reported earlier.

Importantly, the decision to drop the 87-year-old leader from the list of candidates for the April 13 elections was take by the state secretariat headed by Vijayan, but the Polit Bureau had to reverse it, probably due to protests by VS’ supporters.

In 2006, Achuthanandan was denied a party ticket but following a huge public outcry, the national. He led the Left Front`s poll campaign and went on to become the Chief Minister.