Kerala: Tough choices before CPI-M leadership

The open assertion of VS Achuthanandan against party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has pushed state CPI(M) into a tough situation.

Thiruvananthaspuram: The open assertion of Kerala Marxist stalwart VS Achuthanandan against party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has pushed state CPI(M) and central leadership into a tough situation with the question how to tackle gross indiscipline from the senior most leader staring at them.

Braving disciplinary consequences, Achuthanandan had yesterday lashed out Vijayan for calling Marxist rebels like T P Chandrasekharan, who was murdered recently, as "betrayers and renegades".

In a party that prides itself in its internal discipline, democratic centralism and obedience to hierarchy, open rebellion by anybody, however mighty he or she might be, in normal circumstances would be met with disciplinary action.

But according to political observers, in this case the leadership is unlikely to rush to any drastic action as Achuthanandan continues to be a very popular leader though he has lost much of his grip on the organisational set-up.

On his part, analysts believe, the 88-year-old leader is unlikely to move to the extreme step of splitting the party as it would be pretty tough for him to remain in the centrestage by floating a new outfit with the support of the Marxist rebels who had left the party or expelled over the years.

Vijayan has reacted to the development in a cool and circumspect manner calling upon his supporters not to further vitiate the atmosphere by provocative reaction.

It is, however, clear from his message that the party would respond sharply to Achuthanandan after taking the state party and central leadership into confidence.

Those pressing for stringent action against
Achuthanandan, though they choose to refrain from making open their view public for time being, argue that the party has come out unscathed in the past when it threw out powerful leaders like KPR Gopalan, MV Raghavan and KR Gowry Amma.

They maintain that tolerating indiscipline would only weaken the party rather than bringing any immediate benefits.

More than the dissenting voice raised by Achuthanandan, what has stunned the leadership and the ranks has been his comparison of the current situation in the party to that prevailed on the eve of the 1964 split, presided over by late leader SA Dange, the party insiders said.

Right from its formation, CPI(M) in Kerala has seen Dange as the worst revisionist and taught the ranks and files that he had done great disservice to the Indian Communist movement.

The CPI(M) leaders have often used the expression "Dangeite hangover" whenever they had to take on the CPI like the acrimonious exchanges that marred the state meets of the two parties a few months back.

Achuthanandan, who has been witness to the 1964 developments as one of those 32 leaders who came out of the CPI national council and went on to form the CPI(M), knew quite well it would hurt his target seriously if the "Dangeite" imagery was invoked, political observers said.


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