Of the 561 delegates at the party’s meet in Kerala, most favour state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as CM
KOTTAYAM: Kerala’s ruling CPI(M) is in trouble with a majority of its leaders demanding chief minister VS Achuthanandan’s ouster.
Among 38 of the 53 delegates who spoke on the party report presented by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday, a majority warned that the CPI(M) would face a disastrous result if it goes for parliamentary elections under the chief minister.
Of the 561 delegates at the four-day triennial conference, most are allied to Vijayan, a bitter foe of the chief minister. His supporters have thus come to be known as the “official faction”.
The Vijayan supporters feel that the CPI-M politburo supports Achuthanandan. That Achuthanandan is in trouble became evident when only nine of the 53 speakers spoke in his favour on Tuesday. The critics listed out what they said were Achuthanandan’s lapses.
They said if he did not change his “haughty attitude” towards his party colleagues, he should be asked to leave. Otherwise, the Left government would be unable to win any election.
The few delegates attached to the Achuthanandan group, however, complained that the party was not allowing him to function properly.
Once the delegates finish expressing their opinions on Pinarayi’s report, members of the politburo will prepare a reply to the discussion. Vijayan’s comments and that of CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat would be crucial.
The clincher would come on Thursday, the last day of the four-day conference, when a decision is made on the mode of selection for the 80 party state committee members.
This is usually an unanimous exercise. But at the last conference in Malappuram in 2004, Achuthanandan insisted on fielding his candidates, necessitating an election. It proved disastrous with only 20 of his supporters getting elected.
The bitter differences within the party resulted in the CPI(M) politburo issuing a special guideline for the organisational elections in the state.