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CPM veteran VS Achuthanandan fighting Kerala govt for payment of salary

VS Achuthanandan, the only living founder member of CPI(M), has not received a salary since last August despite holding cabinet minister-rank position in Kerala.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2017 20:46 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
VS Achuthanadan,CPI (M),Kerala
File photo of veteran CPI (M) leader VS Achuthanandan. (PTI File )

CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan is not getting his salary despite holding a cabinet minister-rank position in Kerala, signaling the latest tussle between the veteran communist and the party-led government.

VS, as he is popularly known in political circles, shot off a letter to the party’s leadership to complain and seek its intervention in the issue.

After the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) returned to power in Kerala last year, the former chief minister was dropped from the cabinet as his arch rival Pinarayi Vijayan became the chief minister.

To placate VS, the only founder member of the party who is alive, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury intervened and got him a job as the chairman of the Kerala administrative reforms commission.

But ever since he became the chairman in last August, he did not get any salary. His office has five officials and they too did not receive any money.

“It is a technical issue to be resolved by the local administration. The party has nothing to do with it,” said a politburo member.

Yechury indicated that since VS was appointed in the middle of a financial year, the annual budget probably didn’t have a sanction to meet expenses of the panel.

Though VS did not receive any salary for the past six months, he has been given an official accommodation and a car.

Sources said the files pertaining to VS’ salary and other perks have gone back and forth between two state departments and both have claimed that they are not the competent authority to start paying his emoluments.

VS and Vijayan were at loggerheads for past many years. VS, the eternal rebel of the party, lost his seat in the politburo and the central committee when Prakash Karat was the general secretary of the party as the latter sided with Vijayan.

Even as VS faced action on disciplinary grounds, he often raised voices against the Vijayan camp leaders and wrong-doings in the Kerala party.

First Published: Feb 20, 2017 20:46 IST