CPI-M Kerala unit to meet to map its future

February 6th, 2012 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 6 (IANS) The Kerala committee of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) meets here for four days from Tuesday, with its two top state leaders still at loggerheads.

Former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan and party strongman Pinarayi Vijayan continue to be at each other’s throat although publicly they deny the charge.

It will be the first meeting of the Kerala state unit of the CPI-M after the party-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) was narrowly voted out of power in May 2011 assembly elections, and will map out its future course.

But despite the defeat, the CPI-M is the single largest party in the 141-member state assembly with 45 legislators. The Congress, which heads the government, has 38 members in the house.

“Factionalism has been an issue in our party. By now more or less that phase is over, and overall we feel that our party has been accepted in more segments of the society,” said Vijayan.

But relations between Achuthanandan and Vijayan are known to be strained. According to party insiders, Achuthanandan’s grip has weakened following the electoral loss.

At the last state party conference, Achuthanandan’s faction controlled three of the 14 district committees. Now it controls only the Ernakulam district committee.

“Achuthanandan’s faction has been more or less decimated,” said a CPI-M leader who did not wish to be identified.

To add to Achuthanandan’s woes, he has been named the prime accused in a land transfer case by the state vigilance department.

The case pertains to a piece of land that Achuthanandan allegedly allotted to a relative.

But both the CPI-M’s central leadership and the state unit have come out in support of Achuthanandan in the face of the allegation.

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