January 29, 2009 4:15:20 pm
The CPI-M in Kerala appears to be heading for a crisis with party veteran and Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan refusing to budge from his stubborn position against the party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case.
Achuthanandan’s position that he would not give up the demand for action against his long-time foe Vijayan,figuring an accused in the CBI report in the case in his capacity as power minister in mid-1990s when the Lavalin deal was finalised,is also turning into a tough problem for the party central leadership as well.
Indications from the party sources is that the CPI(M) politburo is expected to meet in early February to discuss the issue again and take some stern decisions in the long-term interest of the party in the state.
As soon as the news of CBI deciding to arraign Vijayan as an accused in the case broke out,the party politburo resolved to defend him and that message was conveyed to the party state leadership.
However,Achuthanandan flew to Delhi the next day and suggested action against Vijayan. In the days that followed he chose to remain silent while other state leaders toured around the state drumming up support for Vijayan.
Though Achuthanandan broke his silence on Wednesday,it was no consolation for either Vijayan or the Central leadership. He had only said he would be acting in accordance with the Constitutional responsibilities bestowed on his. Between the lines,it is clear that he is not going to dilute his demand,unfazed by the fallout.
The local media is rife with reports that Achuthanandan has made it clear to the politburo that Vijayan should be removed from the party post since his continuance in the would cost it dearly in Lok Sabha polls.
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