CPI(M) meet ends on stormy note; Achuthanandan defiant

The four-day state conference of CPI(M) in Kerala ended here on Monday on a turbulent note with sharp differences between party's founding-leader V S Achuthanandnan and the leadership remaining unresolved and the veteran was omitted from the 88-member new state committee.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 23, 2015, 22:27 PM IST
CPI(M) meet ends on stormy note; Achuthanandan defiant

Alappuzha: The four-day state conference of CPI(M) in Kerala ended here on Monday on a turbulent note with sharp differences between party's founding-leader V S Achuthanandnan and the leadership remaining unresolved and the veteran was omitted from the 88-member new state committee.

Even though the party leadership tried to bring him back to the conference which he boycotted from the second day on February 21, the 92-year-old leader stuck to his demands, including?withdrawal of critical remarks against him in a recent resolution passed by the party's state secretariate.

Breaking his two-day silence after the boycott, a sulking Achuthanandan, the leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, issued a statement in Thiruvananthapuram justifying his decision as he defied yesterday's Politburo directive to attend the meeting.

Since the resolution terming him as an "anti-party activist" still remained, it was improper for him to attend the meet, he said.

"A party state secretariat resolution terming me as an anti-party activist still remains. In the present circumstances, I kept away from the meeting as I am convinced that it is not proper for me to participate," he said.

However, the former chief minister welcomed the removal of certain critical remarks against him in the working report of the conference and expressed hope that the remaining comments would also be dropped after the Politburo examined them.

The state conference today elected Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan as the new party state Secretary to succeed Pinarayi Vijayan who held the post for the past 16 years.

The meet also nominated 177 delegates for the party congress to be held in Vishakhapatnam in April and decided to constitute an 88-member state committee.

Of the committee, 87 were elected and one seat was kept vacant.

Justifying party decision to omit Achuthanandan from the committee, Balakrishnan said he was one among the eight leaders who were replaced from the committee.

Balakrishnan, who takes over the party leadership in the state which would go for assembly elections next year, also said the party resolution had not termed the veteran leader as an anti-party activist but only mentioned that he had an 'anti-party mindset'.

"The party will give all consideration to Achuthanandan.

He is a senior leader and the party still has more expectations from him," Balakrishnan said, adding that the leader could still attend the state committee meeting as he is a member of the party's central committee.

The nonagenarian leader's boycott of the conference had triggered speculations that he would take hard steps like demitting the post of the Leader of the Opposition.

In a bid to reach out to the veteran, party's general secretary Prakash Karat himself talked to him over phone and asked him to turn up for the concluding session of the meet.

The latest crisis in the party was precipitated on the eve of the conference after a dissenting note of Achuthanandan, citing 'serious flaws' in the conduct of the state unit under his arch foe Vijayan, was published in a section of media.

The issue flared up after the state secretariat came out with a virtual indictment of the senior leader for shooting off a letter to the central leadership castigating party affairs under Vijayan.