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CPI(M) politburo reverses decision, VS to contest poll

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 24: In a reversal of an earlier decision that led to open protests within the party, the CPI(M) polit bureau today allowed Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Assembly V S Achuthanandan to contest the April-May Assembly polls in Kerala.

Announcing the decision, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat told newspersons here that the matter was reconsidered in view of the opinion expressed within the party and also due to the confusion created by the decision among some people.

However, a decision on party's chief ministerial candidate in the event of the Left Democratic Front coming to power would be decided only after the elections, he said adding that CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan will not be a candidate for the Assembly polls.

Mr Karat, however, refused to acknowledge the protest marches, sms, e-mail and poster campaigns, triggered by the earlier decision of the polit bureau not to field Mr Achuthanandan apparently due to stiff opposition in the party's state committee. ''It is not a protest within the party. The protest was organised by the people who don't have any connection with the party,'' he added.

He said the party's list of candidates for the Assembly polls would be finalised in the state committee meeting today itself and it would be published tomorrow.

Asked whether there would be any change in the list proposed by the previous state committee in view of the reported protest lodged by Mr Achuthanandan against the inclusion of certain individuals, Mr Karat said there could be some changes. The opinion of the party district committees would also be taken into consideration.

Besides Mr Karat, Mr Vijayan and Mr Achuthanandan, other polit bureau members Sitaram Yetchuri and S Ramachandran Pillai took part in the meeting.

Political observers say it was unprecedented in the history of the CPI(M) that the top decision making body was forced to change its own stand after open protests within the party.


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