Differences within the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the main party in Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front, surfaced once again when Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan on Monday said he would not participate in a statewide march led by fellow Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan.
"No, No, I have said what I have to say to the party leadership and I don't have to share that with the media," Achuthanandan said in Kochi when reporters repeatedly asked him if he would take part in the march.
Vijayan, state secretary of the CPI-M and an arch rival of Achuthanandan, is an accused in a case of irregularities in awarding a contract to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin when he was the state's power minister.
The Kerala High Court Monday asked Vijayan and three other accused to reply to a petition seeking their prosecution.
While Achuthanandan's stance threw the party into confusion, CPI-M politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai flagged off the march from Udma in Kasargode district.
The Nava Kerala Yathra, sanctioned by the central committee of the party in December, will cover the 140 assembly constituencies in the state and conclude with a massive rally in the state capital Feb 25.