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Rift in CPI-M worsens over Kerala CM's removal

July 05, 2009 18:49 IST

The two-day Communist Party of India - Marxist politburo meeting, held at the party headquarters in Delhi, ended on Sunday. Politburo member and senior leader Sitaram Yechury, while briefing media persons, said that the party has called for a special central committee meeting on July 11 and 12 to discuss the factional split in the party's Kerala unit.

However, sources in the CPI-M politburo told that the two-day meet has decided to take action against Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. Sources also revealed that the politburo was virtually divided on the issue. Senior leaders like Sitaram Yechury and Manik Sarkar supported Achuthanandan and wanted action against party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been implicated in the SNC Lavalin scandal.

In case the party decides to take action against Achuthanandan, politburo member and Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan is likely to take over as the state chief minister.

The politburo, according to sources, has deliberated thoroughly on the resolution passed by the party's Kerala state secretariat and state committee and has decided to take action against Achuthanandan for deviating from the Leninist organisational approach of the party.

While most CPI-M leaders preferred to remain mum over the issue, a senior leader from Thalassery, which is the base of party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said that the party is at political cross roads and the politburo should take stern action against the erring leaders.

He pointed out that the party's local leaders and cadres had been severely embarrassed as this is the first time in the history of the CPI-M, which is widely believed to be a cadre-based political party boasting of leaders with integrity, that a leader of the stature of state secretary is facing such a scandal.

Local CPI-M leaders believe that if Achuthanandan faces action, Pinarayi Vijayan should also be removed from his post. "The party politburo does not have the spine to take action against Pinarayi, who has become a law into himself," a senior leader told

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram