Alappuzha: Crisis in Kerala unit of the CPI(M) deepened on Sunday with the Polit Bureau taking a tough view of founding-leader V S Achuthanandan's boycott of the ongoing state conference over sharp differences with the state leadership.
Though Achuthanandan is yet to respond to the hardening of position by the leadership, the development fuelled speclation that the senior leader might take some hard decision like demitting the office of the Opposition Leader of the Kerala Assembly.
On a day of high drama, a meeting of the "available" Polit Bureau members presided by national General Secretary Prakash Karat concluded that the boycott of the conference by Achuthanandan was a serious mistake and wanted him to return to the meet.
The PB authorised Karat to convey the party's stand to Achuthanandan, who went in a huddle with close personal aides to his official residence in Thiruvananthapuram.
Briefing reporters on the day's developments, conference spokesperson and PB member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would not indulge in any "baragaining" as far as discipline was concerned.
"As far as CPI(M) is concerned, no one is above the party. Schismatic trends and factional activities would not be tolerated at any cost," he said.
"VS is a veteran leader of the party and a Central Committee member. He is also a delegate to the conference and he has a responsibility to attend the conference," he said.
Taking the party to an edge, 92-year-old Achuthanandan had boycotted the meet and returned to the state capital early today, sending clear signls to the leadership that he would not relent until his demands, including withdrawal of the recent party resolution against him were met.
The CPI(M) veteran's "dissenting note" citing serious flaws in the conduct of the state unit meet under his arch foe Pinarayi Vijayan and its response from the state leadership had precipitated the crisis in the party.
The party meet had a stormy start with the state secretariat coming out with a virtual indictment of the senior leader for shooting off a letter to the central leadership castigating party affairs under Vijayan.
He also mentioned the damage suffered by the party due to alienation of LDF allies like Janata Dal, tactical alliance struck with the PDP led by Abdul Nasser Madani in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the party's "failure" to lead a strong and sustained stir against the UDF Government.