At EMS centenary, CPI-M is downcast

June 13th, 2009 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Malappuram (Kerala), June 13 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) celebrates the birth centenary of E.M.S. Namboodiripad, one of its tallest leaders, here Saturday as the party in Kerala goes through one of its worst periods - hit by factionalism, the poll drubbing and corruption charges against a top leader.
Party general secretary Prakash Karat inaugurated a two-day event to commemorate the birth of the iconic communist leader.

But the shadows of the party’s troubles are evident. The list of speakers at the event reads like a virtual Who’s Who of the CPI-M, except for Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity, an official in the chief minister’s office said that Achuthanandan is not taking part in the event because he was not invited.

The chief minister and the state unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan have been locked in a bitter turf battle. The infighting started in 2006 when Achuthanandan contested the assembly election after initially being denied a ticket. Achuthanandan then went on to become the chief minister.

The relationship between the groups of the two hit a new low when Governor R.S. Gavai June 7 gave nod to prosecute Vijayan. While the party leaders and state ministers lashed out at the governor’s sanction, calling it “politically motivated”, Achuthanandan said that the governor had done nothing wrong.

Speaking to IANS, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said that the absence of Achuthanandan from the celebrations shows that the factional feud in the CPI-M has reached its peak.

“The so-called official faction of the CPI-M led by Vijayan definitely owes an answer to the people of Kerala on why Achuthanandan has been left out from the event,” said Chennithala.

In a column in Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhoomi Saturday, Achuthanandan writes that introspection at all levels is the need of the hour for the party and it would be best if the exercise is carried out as the centenary celebrations of E.M.S. Namboodiripad take place.

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