Achuthanandan versus Vijayan - and CPI-M? (Kerala Newsletter)

May 13th, 2012 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 13 (IANS) The feud between the Communist Party of India Marxist’s (CPI-M) two tallest leaders in Kerala - V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan - appears to be headed for an exciting finish, with the former now taking on not just his bete noire but the party itself.

In stinging remarks, Achuthanandan Saturday warned that party state secretary Vijayan will soon meet the fate of the once iconic Indian Communist S.A. Dange who was shown the door by the Communist Party of India (CPI).

Achuthanandan, a former Kerala chief minister who is now the opposition leader in the assembly, made the statement following the recent murder of former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekharan.

After the killing, which police believe was carried out by CPI-M activists, Vijayan dubbed Chandrasekharan a “traitor”. Achuthanandan, who was said to be close to the dead man, disputed the label.

Achuthanandan told reporters here that Vijayan’s remark was not the opinion of the CPI-M.

“In our party things are different. It is not like the Congress where the final word is that of the party high command. In our party, an opinion is arrived at after detailed ideological discussions,” he said.

Chandrasekharan, a former CPI-M firebrand, was killed in Onchiyam near here Friday night. Police said he was attacked with a bomb and then murdered. His face was disfigured.

Achuthanandan was, however, the only top CPI-M leader who paied homage to the murdered former party colleague.

Justifying Vijayan’s statement that Chandrasekharan was a traitor, veteran party state secretariat member V.V. Dakshinamoorthy said what Vijayan said was the real stand of the party.

“I am not prepared to make any statement on this issue. Achuthanandan and me are members of the state secretariat and it is there that one has to speak and not in an open forum,” remarked Dakshinamoorthy.

Chandrasekharan was an active CPI-M leader in his hometown Onchiyam near Kozhikode till 2008. Later he formed the Revolutionary Marxist Party which unseated his former party in village councils around his hometown.

“A situation that prevailed way back in 1964 prevailed at Onchiyam,” Achuthanandan said, referring to the year when the Communist Party of India (CPI) split, leading to the formation of the present day CPI-M.

In April 1964, 38 national council members of the CPI walked out protesting the wrong actions of Dange who headed the CPI then.

Achuthanandan is the only living member of the 38.

“When Chandrasekharan walked out of CPI-M, party leaders should have prevailed upon him to return to the party fold through discussions,” he said.

“It should be noted that though Dange ousted us, very soon he also was booted out by his party.”

Asked why no one was questioning Vijayan if he was like Dange, Achuthanandan said: “The time is not far and that will happen.”

Pressed if his statement would be seen as violative of party discipline, he shot back: “At the opportune time and after discussions, it will be clear who has violated party discipline.”

Veteran CPI-M leader T. Sivadasa Menon reacted sharply to Achuthanandan’s statement, saying if he had any difference of opinion, he should say so at the appropriate party forum and not in a press conference.

Achuthanandan and Vijayan have been at loggerheads for close to a decade. In 2007, both were suspended from the politburo on grounds of breaching party discipline.

Achuthanandan, who has a unscathed success rate, had scored big in the 2006 and 2011 assembly polls.

(Sanu George can be contacted at

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