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Kerala CM attacks rival openly

By Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram
April 23, 2009 16:00 IST
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Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, whose head may be on the chopping block, has decided to go hammer and tongs against his bitter rival in the Communist Party of India-Marxist, Pinarayi Vijayan. While answering questions on the party secretary's comment about the inclusion of a new nominee from the Janata Dal in to his cabinet, the Chief Minister said that it was not the party secretary (Vijayan) but the Left Democratic Front which is the ultimate decision maker.

This comment sent shock waves in the Kerala CPI-M. The Vijayan faction is accelerating moves to expel him from the party. A senior central committee member of the party from Kannur who is openly aligned with the Vijayan faction told, "The CPI-M is a political party which believes in discipline among party cadres more than anything else and by making such an open comment on the party secretary, Achuthanandan has crossed all barriers."

Even die-hard party supporters who were earlier with Achuthanandan are now moving away from him. A former state leader and member of the local committee of the CPI-M told, "There were certain points where we felt that we should stay with Achuthanandan but he has gone too far and such a comment against the party secretary is really condemnable and appropriate action should be taken against him."

Party cadres and grassroot leaders are also openly coming out against the manner in which Achuthanandan is acting against the wishes of the party.

The Vijayan faction is gleeful as election drubbing would be directly termed as the failure of the LDF government led by Achuthanandan. The CPI-M which was once considered a monolithic political formation is now in the threshold of the worst crisis in its history.

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram