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CM on firing line

The ongoing crisis in the faction-ridden Kerala CPM deepened further with CM VS Achuthanandan’s handpicked bureaucrat lashing out at the CM’s advisors for toppling important cabinet decisions, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2008 01:13 IST
Ramesh Babu

The ongoing crisis in the faction-ridden Kerala CPM deepened further on Sunday with Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan’s handpicked bureaucrat lashing out at the CM’s advisors for toppling important cabinet decisions.

Talking to the media in Kochi, senior IAS officer K. Suresh Kumar strongly criticised the chief minister’s political and private secretaries.

Isolated in the party, Achuthanandan allowed his senior bureaucrat to bat for him — reply to allegations raised at the party’s state committee meet the other day. “The CM never had the backing of his office. His political and private secretaries sat over important files deliberately delaying some of the important projects including the Smart City,” Kumar said.

Citing the Kiliroor sex scandal to the latest goof-up at Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s house in Bangalore, Kumar alleged the CM’s office had handled these casually inviting criticism for Achuthanandan.

“In the Kiliroor sex scandal his private secretary S. Rajendran had buried the file requesting the CBI to depute a senior officer after charges came up that its investigation wasn’t going in the right direction. It was a deliberate attempt to embarrass the CM,” he said adding the CM’s office was one of the worst administered in the state.

In the state committee meet on Saturday, Rajendran had alleged that Achuthanandan was remote-controlled by a coterie, including former additional secretary Kumar. Some had also raised corruption charges against the bureaucrat who is known for his integrity.

The latest move against Achuthanandan came at a time when his popularity has plummeted after his comments against the family of the slain NSG commando. Not a single member had defended the CM at the meet. Sensing the mood, he had skipped the meet and gone to the northern city of Kozhikode.

The Congress and BJP have upped their ante after the revelation of the senior bureaucrat. “We will press for a detailed inquiry into the Kiliroor scandal,” demanded the BJP. “Even his party has disowned him.... The CM... (should)... call it a day,” PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala said.

The party’s central committee meeting in Kochi (in January) is likely to discuss the latest developments in Kerala. The state committee has already approached the Politburo with a list of woes against the CM.

CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Achuthanandan’s archrival in the party, has justified the state committee’s observations.