VS’s excommunication process intensifies in CPM

via VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram - Daily Pioneer published on June 10, 2009

The process of excommunication from the CPI(M), a policy the party used to adopt against any enemy (particularly within the party), has already started against Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan for violating party decisions and moving against State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case. Though the party leaders refuse to speak against Achuthanandan formally, all those loyal to Pinarayi are liberal in criticising him sharply but indirectly.

The first indication of the implementing the strategy of excommunicating Achuthanandan has come in connection with the function the party is organizing in Perinthalmanna in Malappuram in connection with the birth centenary of late theoretician EMS Namboothirippad. The organizers have not invited Achuthanandan, the last of the founding leaders of the CPI(M) in Kerala, to the programme to be held in Perinthalmanna, Malappuram on Saturday.

Writer-critic Sukumar Azheecode, who had held a highly personalized campaign against Achuthanandan is an invitee to the two-day function starting on Saturday, in which CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and Pinarayi Vijayan himself will be participating. Almost all the top anti-VS leaders of the CPI(M) are invitees to the programme.

The other invitees to the function include State Finance Minister and party central committee member TM Thomas Isaac, a known critic of Achuthanandan, journalist N Madhavankutty, who has, of late, been appearing in the media to justify PInarayi and attack Achuthanandan and TN Seema, a trusted lieutenant of Pinarayi, who was one of the five participants in the Nava Kerala Yathra he had led in February last. Cultural Affairs Minister and central committee member MA Baby, an opponent of the Chief Minister, is yet another invitee to the programme.

Even as efforts for his excommunication are intensifying, the leaders belonging to the pro-Pinarayi neo-liberalist camp stepped up their indirect but obvious verbal attacks against Achuthanandan over the SNC Lavalin case and the approach he adopted against Pinarayi in that regard.

Power Minister AK Balan, one of the most trusted men of Pinarayi, has, with some success, gave a diversion to the SNC Lavalin issue by alleging that divisionism within the CPI(M) was the basic force behind the worsening of the SNC Lavalin controversy. He said that a syndicate led by some former party activists and leaders were still working in tandem with some who were still in the party to get party documents leaked into the media.

The reference by Balan to people inside the party was obviously about Achuthanandan and the rare supporters he still had inside the CPI(M), but in the same breath, Balan said, “Nobody in the party believes that VS has any difference of opinion on party matters.”

Bhasurendra Babu, self-styled communist theoretician and strong defender of Pinarayi, made a direct call for the resignation of Achuthanandan for his statement justifying the decision of Governor RS Gavai to permit the prosecution of Pinarayi in the massive corruption case. He said Achuthanandan should not continue to enjoy the benefits of a position (Chief Ministership) given to him by the party if he could not respect its decision.

MV Goivindan, CPI(M) State secretariat member and a strong advocate of the Pinarayi-led Kannur lobby in the party, refused to accept Achuthanandan’s statement on Gavai’s decision but said the responsibility to explain his statement was with the Chief Minister himself. He too said that there was no difference of opinion in the party over the approach to the SNC Lavalin case, despite the fact that Achuthanandan had been airing diametrically opposite stand.

A senior CPI(M) leader said that a section in the party was already of the feeling that Achuthanandan was no more part of the party. “They (the Pinarayi-loyalists) keep on saying that there is no difference of opinion even when the Chief Minister is waging a war against the secretary. What they mean is that one should not think VS is a partyman,” he said.

Legal expert and former Left MP Sebastian Paul said that there was lack of collective responsibility in the LDF Cabinet. “What is before us is a very complex and serious issue. I am not sure whether the Chief Minister and the Governor could go ahead with their positions,” he said.

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