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Kerala CPM exposes rot within

The charges include efforts to destabilize the leadership.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 04:24 IST

Sex, lies and audiotapes — not all’s well with the Kerala CPI (M). A party panel, which probed growing factionalism in the state unit, has come out with startling revelations. The report has squarely blamed many camp followers of Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan for indulging in “anti-party and anti-proletarian activities”.

The charges include efforts to destabilize the leadership, attempts to frame three present ministers in a sex scandal involving a minor girl and bugging the telephone of another minister.

Mum’s the word from education minister MA Baby on the report. State party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said: “These are internal matters of the party and cannot be discussed with the media”.

The three-member panel, headed by senior leader Paloli Muhammed Kutty, was appointed after the party state conference in Malappuram, which witnessed intense infighting between hard-liners led by Achuthanandan and reformist bloc of party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The report says Achuthanandan loyalists -- S Sharma, now fisheries minister, NN Krishnadas and K Chandran Pillai (MPs) and some middle-level leaders -- have tried to discredit top leaders.

The panel found that deliberate attempts were made to involve home and tourism minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, education minister MA Baby, and health minister PK Sreemathy in the Kiliroor sex scandal.

The report says efforts were made to influence the magistrate, who took the statement of the sex racket victim, Shari S Nair, through her husband, a party member. The woman died in a hospital after delivery complications.

A complaint, claimed to be made by Shari’s friend against these leaders, was sent to the police, but the name of the complainant was found to be fake.

The panel gathered evidence of causing division in the party from 238 party members, besides top leaders. The report says Palakkad MP NN Krishnadas had approached the panel with an audiotape linking power minister AK Balan with divisive activities. But the MP was caught on charges of telephone tapping. Similar complaints came from other places.

The party state committee on July 21 accepted the findings and decided to report it to the lower committees. Subsequently Achuthanandan’s former private secretary KM Shajahan and PT Muraleedharan, a staff member in the party headquarters, were expelled.

Shajahan, however, managed to return to the CM office.