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Politburo blinks, VS back in fray

The disciplined CPI-M in god?s own country has scripted a history of sorts. In a reversal of its own whip, it has decided to field Opposition leader in the forthcoming assembly election.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2006 01:39 IST

The disciplined CPI-M in god’s own country has scripted a history of sorts. In a reversal of its own whip, it has decided to field Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan in the forthcoming assembly election. The 83-year-old veteran, humbled and belittled by rivals, has a lot to cheer. The party has refrained from projecting any chief ministerial candidate for the time being.

Addressing a Press Conference here on Friday evening, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat admitted that the party’s earlier decision has resulted in some confusion and misunderstanding. Perhaps, this is first time the party’s apex body is going back on its own decision to accommodate the growing sentiments of cadre and sympathisers.

“The Politburo's decision has created confusion among certain sections. So we have decided to reconsider it. Accordingly, the party state secretariat and state committee were informed,” Karat said. However, state secretary Pinarayi was conspicuous by his absence. Asked about this, Karat ducked, saying, “He was busy finalising the candidates’ list.” Going by the body language of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, deputy leader and a Vijayan acolyte, it was obvious that deliberations weren’t smooth.

To buy peace between warring factions, the “available party Politburo” earlier in the day had mooted that both, VS and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan should contest the polls. But Vijayan turned down the offer.

It is too early to deduce that curtains are down on the infighting. Wounded Pinarayi is sure to strike back. The crisis was sparked by the Politburo’s denial of tickets to the two.

Instead, it projected non-controversial LDF convener Paloli Muhammedkutty for the top job triggering unprecedented protest. Taciturn and often inflexible, VS is the one and only living founder member of the party.

First Published: Mar 25, 2006 01:39 IST