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Kerala comrades face flak

india Updated: Mar 30, 2008 01:36 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times
Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi

With its Kerala unit continuing to give trouble, the 19th party congress of the CPM is expected to take effective steps to check sectarian digression among a section of the cadres and leaders.

While inaugurating the party congress here, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has made it clear that discipline is paramount for a cadre-based party. “An important agenda of the Congress is our organizational work. For a communist party, the organization based on communist discipline and norms is paramount,” he reminded the party delegates.

Although Kerala CPM secretary Pinarayi Vijayan sweared that factionalism in the state unit ended with the state conference in Kottayam, the central leadership is flooded with complaints and accusations after the organizational polls.

The intra-party squabble between Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi is at a more subtle level. This has resulted in Kerala facing a decline in party membership and some of the feeder organizations have been weakened. The party leadership is worried that this would reflect on future elections.

Last year when the war of words between Achuthanandan and Pinarayi was at its peak, the party had to suspend both from the Politburo – an unprecedented action in the party annals. Besides, it was forced to prepare a “special guideline” for smooth conduct of the state conference. “Every time it is not possible for the Politburo to intervene, therefore we have decided on a permanent mechanism to check such tendencies,” a senior leader told Hindustan Times.