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CPM may show VS the door

The CPI-M's central leadership looks set to show the door to Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan if he does not change his position on the corruption case against state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2009 22:53 IST
HT Correspondents

The CPI-M's central leadership looks set to show the door to Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan if he does not change his position on the corruption case against state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Achuthanandan left for Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday after meeting the leadership, which has cast its lot with Vijayan, and does not buy the CM’s line that the probe in the case should be allowed to go on. The party is understood to have deputed Sitaram Yechury to persuade the CM, but the latter does not seem to be in a mood to relent.

The CPM says the case is “politically motivated” and it will defend Vijayan “politically”, but the CM does not agree with this.

Achuthanandan’s “no compromise” stance has rattled the CPM but given Vijayan’s iron-grip over the organisation in the state, it has no choice but to side with him. Officially, the party is saying action against the CM isn’t on the cards.

“Disciplinary action of any kind against V.S. Achuthanan-dan is not an issue before the politburo,” member S. Ramachandran Pillai told HT.

But in Kerala, Vijayan — on a statewide yatra — seemed relentless. "No doubt, all party members would join the yatra. On Lavalin, the party is united. I heard VS communicated certain things to the politburo. Let the politburo decide.”

The controversy dates back to 1996, when Vijayan, then power minister, finalised a Rs 375-crore deal with SNC Lavalin to modernise three power plants. It later emerged the Canadian firm had promised Rs 96 crore for a CPM-run cancer institute in return.