Achuthanandan hits out at rivals in Kerala CPI-M

August 13th, 2008 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 13 (IANS) Faction fights have erupted again within the Kerala unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) after a five-month lull, with Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan hitting out at his rivals Wednesday. Achuthanandan told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting that the people of Kerala had already evaluated if he was a moderate or an “extremist”.

“It is not true to say that my way of working has brought disrepute to the party. I have been working for several decades now and I don’t know how such an opinion has surfaced. The news that appeared in the media about this is not there in the party records,” said Achuthanandan.

He was referring to media reports that said at a three-day party meeting here, Achuthanandan was called an extremist in terms of being a hardline communist.

A press release issued by the party did say that the Achuthanandan government has failed to convey the achievements of his administration to the people of Kerala.

Reacting to this, Achuthanandan said it was well within the rights of allies, his party and senior party leaders to criticise the running of his government.

“All these years it has been my habit to ignore criticism which has no merit. But at the same time, if there is anything that merits serious attention, I certainly accept it,” said Achuthanandan.

Another point of rebuttal by Achuthanandan was a statement by the party committee which in a veiled manner said he was a talker and not a doer.

“During the last elections, my friends in my party from here had briefed the politburo that if I was to lead the party in the elections, the Congress-led front would retain power. But the politburo had to revise its decision after several CPI-M leaders informed the politburo that the Congress government could be unseated only if I led the elections. They listened to that and I led the party to a three-fourth majority,” said Achuthanandan.

This is virtually the first statement by Achuthanandan to his detractors in the party led by Pinarayi Vijayan, the state party secretary, since the CPI-M state conference in Kottayam in March this year.

For long, the party has been seeing a war of words between the majority faction led by Vijayan and the minority led by Achuthanandan. Last year both Vijayan and Achuthanandan were booted out of the politburo after they engaged in a bitter verbal duel. But both were taken back in the politburo after a while.

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