A day after the CPM picked Pinarayi Vijayan as the legislative party leader, confirming his position as the next chief minister of the LDF government, 92-year-old party veteran V S Achuthanandan said he would serve as the “sentinel of the people of Kerala” and that he was not after any post.
“I thank the people of Kerala, who have given the LDF another chance to rule the state… I assure you that I will stand as the sentinel of the people of Kerala, holding high the Left approach and the people’s issues,” Achuthanandan, who has been the leader of opposition for the last five years, said.
Attacking former CM Oommen Chandy, he said, “Everyone knows where the Chandy government had taken the state. Even children know about the stories of the solar scam, sexual abuse, land assignment and bar bribery. But we saw Chandy himself dismissing every issue, saying there is no evidence.”
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He said it is the duty of the LDF government to expose the previous government’s scams and bring the culprits to book. “The election results show that people expect the LDF government not to resort to the style of UDF,” said Achuthanandan, in a veiled warning to his party.
On his future assignment in the government, Achuthanandan said he was not after any post and such issues were not being discussed at the moment.
Meanwhile, Vijayan and party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan paid a visit to Achuthanandan’s official residence Saturday. Even at the height of bitter factionalism in the party which spanned over a decade, Vijayan, who was party chief during the period, had never bothered to go and meet Achuthanandan at his residence.
“Achuthanandan was the most recent among us (CPM leaders) to hold the post of CM. He is an experienced leader as a CM. It is important to realise things from him. I am a beginner in this regard. I came to learn things from VS,” Vijayan said after the meeting.
Vijayan said Achuthanandan asked him to check price rise and ensure safety of women. After the meeting, both shook hands.
On Friday, in a bid to avoid a potential face-off between the two, the CPM named Vijayan the legislative party leader. At the same time, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury indicated that Achuthanandan would have a larger role to play by describing him as the “Fidel Castro of Kerala” who will “advise and guide the party”.