The CPM state committee on Tuesday decided to seek district committees’ opinion on the crucial question whether chief minister V S Achuthanandan should be given a seat in April 13 assembly elections.
Speculation was rife that the state committee, where his arch foe state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan enjoys brute majority, would be forced to announce its decision on Tuesday.
Last week in Delhi party general secretary Prakash Karat had announced Buddhadeb Battacharjee would lead the party in West Bengal but in Kerala CM’s case he said state committee would take appropriate decision.
The central leaders had left the decision on state leadership to avoid criticism as happened in 2006. He was denied a seat last time but the central leadership was forced to revoke its decision after protests broke out in various parts of the state. Unlike Buddhadeb, he was forced to the doors of the state leaders.
Now the state committee would have to meet next week to examine reports of various district committees. According to a party insider though Achuthanandan would get a ticket, district committees would get a chance to question his style of functioning. No doubt he has to face embarrassing moments, he added. The main strategy of the official faction would be to trouble him much for not falling in line.
Demoted from Politburo two years ago many state leaders still feel that he often crossed party limits and entertained a personality-oriented agenda. The official faction would embarrass him further by listing out his one-man policies and decisions. He had given the state unit anxious moments on a number of occasions including Munnar demolition drive, SNC Lavalin case (Pinarayi is an accused in the power graft case) and lottery scam.
A couple of months back it was almost certain that he wouldn’t get another chance. But he pulled off a coup of sorts when the party was facing bleak prospects_ he’s taken up many graft cases on his own. He was instrumental in getting one-year rigorous imprisonment to former minister R Balakrishna Pillai, a senior UDF leader. He also raked up the ice cream parlor sex scandal of mid-90s in which Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty figured. He was the one to take up palm oil case which eventually led to the ouster of the central vigilance commissioner.