CPI-M expels senior leader in Kerala

June 24th, 2012 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 24 (IANS) The Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) in Kerala, which is going through turbulent times, Sunday expelled senior leader and former legislator Gopi Kottamurikal on grounds of moral misconduct.

The decision was taken at the party’s state secretariat meeting in the morning and ratified at a state committee meeting later, said top CPI-M sources.

The allegation against Kottamurikal, 64, were of moral misconduct.

The controversy erupted last year after four of his party colleagues, with the help of a hidden camera, tried to substantiate the allegations of misconduct.

The CPI-M also suspended the leader, who had complained against Kottamurikal, for six months. Two others, who were part of the team that used the spy camera, were censured. A fourth member was demoted from the district committee to a lower body.

Kottamurikal served as a legislator from Piravom in Ernakulam district in the eighth Kerala assembly and was Ernakulam district party secretary for nine years till last year.

Kottamurikal, till 2008, was a confidant of former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan. Then he came close to the Pinarayi Vijayan faction, referred to as the official faction of the CPI-M.

Following this, he was asked to step down as district secretary and the party appointed a three-member panel to probe into the allegation of moral misconduct.

The panel then gave its report to the party.

But Kottamurikal last week in a TV interview accused former minister and senior party legislator S. Sarma and two others of framing him.

The party seems to have taken the outburst seriously and despite Kottamurikal being close to Vijayan, decided to show the former the door.

Incidentally, Sunday was Kottamurikal’s birthday.

Last year, the CPI-M had ousted powerful Kannur district secretary P. Sasi, also on grounds of moral misconduct.

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