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Factionalism in CPI(M) in Kerala assumes 'explosive' proportions

Written by: Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 16: Factionalism within the Kerala unit of the CPI(M) assumed serious proportions today with the electoral aspirations of politburo member and Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan being torpedoed ahead of the April-May Assembly elections.

On a day of dramatic developments, the CPI(M) State Committee approved the list of candidates, sans Mr Achuthanandan, as proposed by the State Secretariat this evening.

There were reports that party general secretary Prakash Karat, who attended the crucial meeting, described the situation within the party as 'explosive.' He left for New Delhi in the afternoon.

Soon after the meeting was over, hundreds of party activists gathered at the Contonment House, the official residence of the Leader of the Opposition, to express their solidarity with the 'hurt' comrade.

Protest marches, e-mail, SMS and poster campaigns were being launched throughout the state against the manner in which Mr Achuthanandan was dropped.

Sensing the mood, the customary press briefing after the meet was not convened even as scores of mediapersons waited for several hours outside the AKG Centre.

According to sources, the State Secretariat, in which the supporters of the party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan have a huge majority, yesterday decided not to feild Mr Achuthanandan and instead project Left Democratic Front convener Paloli Mohammed Kutty as the Chief Minister candidate if the Marxist-led combine comes to power after the elections.

However, in the state Committee which met subsequently, a majority of them opined that it would be good for the party if Mr Achuthanandan contested the polls.

Following this the state Secretariate met again to take stock of the situation and came out with a strong stand against Mr Achuthanandan. The State Committee which met for the second time in the day reportedly approved the list of candidates proposed by the State Secretariat.

UNI

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