Karat again elected CPI-M boss (Lead)

April 9th, 2012 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode (Kerala), April 9 (IANS) Prakash Karat was Monday re-elected general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), but the veteran V.S. Achuthanandan failed to make it to the politburo.

Karat, 68, who has headed the CPI-M since 2005, said a new politburo and a central committee had also been elected.

Former Kerala chief minister and now the opposition leader in the state assembly, Achuthanandan was not elected to the decision-making politburo. But Kerala’s M.A. Baby, 58, made it.

Former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who has avoided almost all recent CPI-M leadership meetings, was, however, re-elected to the politburo.

Achuthanandan was booted out of the politburo in 2009 for constantly feuding with the Kerala’s powerful state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Achuthanandan, however, remains a member of the central committee, which has the power to veto politburo decisions.

The new politburo and central committee were named Monday on the final day of the CPI-M’s 20th party congress.

There was speculation that the Myanmar-born Karat, whose leadership coincided with the end of 34 years of Left rule in West Bengal, could be replaced. But that did not happen.

Speaking on the occasion, Karat said: “Only a Left and democratic alternative can replace the present set up.”

The 15-member politburo has three new faces and includes veteran trade union leader A.K. Padmanabhan from Tamil Nadu, Suryakanta Misra from West Bengal and Baby.

Misra now heads the Left bloc in the West Bengal assembly.

“I have nothing to say,” said Achuthanandan as he came out of the venue.

The 89-member central committee includes 13 new faces and has former CPI-M legislator K.K. Shailaja. Two seats have been left vacant.

Benoy Konar was appointed the new Control Commission chairman.

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