February 22, 2010 4:46:18 am
A body fished out from a lake on the outskirts of Chennai on February 13 could be that of senior CPM leader W R Varadarajan,who has been missing for the past 10 days.
While wife Saraswati has recognised the highly decomposed body as his,his sisters,son and some party leaders have expressed their doubts. The party has decided to wait for a confirmation,including DNA test,before officially announcing Varadarajans death.
Known to all as WR,Varadarajan was removed from the Central Committee of the CPM at a meeting in Kolkata earlier this month for undisclosed reasons. A few days later,he had walked out of his home in Chennai,leaving behind two letters that indicated he was going to end his life and that personal strife was behind his action. The letters directed that his body be donated for research and his personal belongings be given to the party.
After receiving a formal complaint about his disappearance on February 14,the city police had issued a statewide alert and formed special teams to trace him.
On Sunday,Saraswati identified an unclaimed body lying at the government hospital mortuary since February 13 as that of Varadarajan,based on a mark on his stomach and another on his finger.
It is still not clear what prompted the CPM to move Varadarajan from elected posts,including central and state committees. The party maintains it was an act not befitting his stature,while insiders say his wife had complained to the leadership about his relationship with another woman. He was removed after proper inquiry,and after giving him an opportunity to defend himself, a source said.
Once he was ousted from the posts,Varadarajan was reduced to being an ordinary member of Chennai South district CPM,though he remained one of the secretaries of CITU.
A chartered accountant,WR had joined the party in 1963 when he was an RBI employee. A quintessential trade unionist,he resigned from his job and became a full-time worker in the early 80s.
According to sources,he even got married on the instruction of seniors. Saraswati,who also worked in RBI and was a party member,was a divorcee. When WRs mentor V P Chintan asked him if he was ready to marry her,he said yes.
In the 1989 Assembly elections,Varadarajan was chosen as a candidate for the Villivakkam constituency and won convincingly.
Proficient in both English and Hindi,Varadarajan was sent to Delhi as a CITU secretary in the late 90s. For the next eight years,he continued there,returning to Tamil Nadu as a Central Committee member of the CPM three years ago.
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