Setting the stage for another round of conflict with the state unit of the CPI(M), Kerala opposition leader VS Achuthanandan on Sunday wrote to party general secretary Prakash Karat, saying he wanted to quit his post.
In the letter, Achuthanandan, 88, said he couldn't get along with the state unit, which toed the "politics of murder and mayhem".
This development comes in the wake of the killing of rebel CPI(M) leader TP Chandrasekharan.
Demanding an overhaul of the party machinery, Achuthanandan, who is former Kerala chief minister, has asked the central leadership to convene meetings of the state and central committees to discuss the issue.
When his one-time protégé Chandrasekharan, who left the party three years ago to float the Revolutionary Socialist Party, was murdered by a group of alleged CPI(M) assailants, he called the slain leader a brave communist.
In the letter, which was leaked to the media, he said some leaders had left the party on ideological issues.
Instead of bringing them back, the state leadership was targeting them, he said.
He also said the morale of party workers had been affected after the death of the rebel leader.
Chandrasekharan was killed near his house in Vatakara (Kozhikode district) on May 4. At least 14 persons including six CPI(M) office-bearers have been arrested in the case.
Last week Achuthanandan had equated CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan with undivided CPI leader SA Dange, who had split the party in 1964.
Though officially the state unit is yet to react to the statement, it is likely to demand strict disciplinary action against him.