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Power struggle in Kerala Left Front

CM VS Achuthanandan has approached central leadership complaining that growing internal strife is blighting image of his 5-month-old Govt, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 04:03 IST

Factionalism is once again brewing in the Kerala Left Front.

And a worried Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan has approached the central leadership complaining that growing internal strife is blighting the image of his five-month-old government. In Delhi to attend the Politburo meeting, Achuthanandan met party general secretary Prakash Karat to apprise him of the “gloomy situation” back home.

Despite the central leadership’s directive to end the feud, the tussle between the two dominant factions is intensifying. Whether it is NCP leader K Karunakaran’s entry into the Left Democratic Front fold or action against erring police officials, who goofed up on Prime Minister’s security or disciplinary action against certain party leaders, both are not seeing eye to eye.

But the major cause of concern for VS — as his comrades call him — is that the official faction led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is targeting his followers.

After expelling his two former private secretaries from the party, the state committee — where the secretary holds considerable sway — recently demoted the chief minister’s right-hand man Palakkad MP NN Krishnadas to the area committee. Krishnadas is the party deputy leader in the Lok Sabha. Accused of tapping state power minister TK Balan’s telephone, he has approached the politburo saying he was “victimised unnecessarily”. Another VS acolyte Gokuldas, who was suspended from the party, has petitioned the apex body. Aide K Chandaran Pillai is next on the list.

The exoulsions and demotions, followers fear, is aimed at cornering Achuthanandan, and finally paving the way for his premature exit.

Politburo meet

Important national and international issues, including the BJP victory in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, were discussed on the first day of the two-day meeting of the CPM politburo on Tuesday.