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Year on, Kodyeri Balakrishnnan returns as Kerala CPM secretary

Emerging from the weekly party state secretariat meeting, senior leader and former minister M M Mani confirmed to the media that Balakrishnan had returned to the post he had vacated in November last year.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: December 4, 2021 5:53:07 am
Kodyeri Balakrishnnan (File Photo)

CPI(M) politburo member Kodyeri Balakrishnnan, who had stepped aside as party state secretary a year ago after his son got embroiled in a drug-related money laundering case in Bengaluru, returned to the post on Friday.

Emerging from the weekly party state secretariat meeting, senior leader and former minister M M Mani confirmed to the media that Balakrishnan had returned to the post he had vacated in November last year.

Balakrishnan is back as party state secretary a month after his younger son Bineesh was released on bail after being in judicial custody for a year since his arrest in October 2020. Last year, when Balakrishnan had stepped down temporarily, the party had attributed the senior leader’s exit to health reasons.

After Balakrishnan went on leave, party central committee member and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan was given charge of the state secretary.

The politburo member had been in the thick of a scandal after his son’s arrest, which came at a time when his elder son Binoy was also involved in financial scandals.

Explained

Kodiyeri’s return increases chances of him being re-elected as CPI(M) state secy

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s return as the state secretary of CPI(M) means a status quo continues in the party in Kerala. His exit period of one year did not see the emergence of a new power centre or any other senior leaders calling the shots. Prospects of Balakrishnan getting elected as the party’s state secretary for the third time in a row in the upcoming state conference has also brightened. The scandal involving his son would no longer be a hurdle in his way. For Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the running of the government will be as smooth as it was in the past since Balakrishnan, his close lieutenant, can marshal the party behind the government and its decisions. If Balakrishnan’s temporary exit as the party’s state secretary would have continued further, at a time when organisational meetings are on at various levels, matters would have been poised for a different course in the party.

Balakrishnan had opted to keep away as party state secretary in November last year, a month ahead of the local body elections in Kerala. The CPI(M) managed to retain power in majority of the local bodies. This year, during the Assembly elections in May, the CPI(M)-led LDF retained power, bucking the trend of an incumbent government being unseated every five years. During the Assembly election campaign, Balakrishnan was not very active in the electioneering, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Balakrishnan returns as state secretary even as organisational meetings in the party are going on. The meetings will culminate in the party congress, which will be held in Kannur in April next year.

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