How a truce between Vijayan and VS was murdered
By N V Ravindranathan Nair - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Published: 29th Jul 2012 10:16:18 AM
It is the lull before the storm in the CPI(M)’s Kerala unit. The CPI(M) central leadership’s efforts to engineer a truce between veteran leader V S Achuthanandan and the state leadership led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has ended as a futile exercise with the culmination of the two-day state committee meet on July 24 and 25, which was organised to implement the central committee decisions taken during the central committee meet on July 20-22. The central leadership, especially general secretary Prakash Karat’s credentials as an impartial ombudsman stands questioned following his open tilt towards the state leadership when he was expected to ensure the implementation of central committee decisions.
Instead of implementing the central committee directive to initiate disciplinary action against MM Mani, the former Idukki district secretary who put the party in a fix with his controversial statement on party-sponsored killings, the state committee meeting decided to limit the action to a namesake one—a mere six-month suspension from the state committee. T K Hamsa, another state committee member who was in the firing line after his open outburst against Achuthanandan had been prescribed punitive action, but was let off. The decision has turned out to be a slap on the cheek of the central leadership.
Till recently, such disregard of central committee directives could not have been dreamed of in the CPI(M). What has been astonishing is that Prakash Karat himself presided over this exercise of belittling and bypassing the central committee decisions.
Meanwhile, before the state committee meeting, the state leadership which suffered a setback after central committee decided to limit the action against Achuthanandan to a mere public censure decided to return in the same coin and publish the resolution adopted by the central committee in the party mouthpiece Deshabhimani. They had a reason to do so as Achuthanandan’s speech at the central committee, which appears to be a chargesheet against the official leadership in Kerala, had been leaked out and published in a prominent Malayalam Daily on July 23. The speech narrating almost all issues that had been taken up by Achuthanandan in his solitary fight against right wing aberrations in the party leadership had further hurt the state leadership.
What appeared in the Deshabhimani as central committee resolution were selected excerpts. According to Achuthanandan, the published version had been silent on the action to be taken by the state committee on T P Chandrasekharan murder. On the contrary, some of the points in the resolution, critical of Achuthanandan’s breach of party discipline and anti-party activities were elaborated in the form of a resolution, he complained in the state committee meeting. Earlier, in the central committee meeting, Achuthanandan had asked whether it was his remark that Chandrasekharan was a valiant comrade, his attending Chandrasekhara’s funeral or his visit to Chandrasekharan’s house on June 2, the Neyattinkara by election day that landed the party in trouble ?
Achuthanandan further said, “Around 24 party comrades, holding party posts from district secretariat members to branch secretaries were arrested in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. Though the party continues to claim that they are innocent, no one with common sense would believe it. To regain the credibility of the party and make up the trust deficit, they should be suspended till their innocence is proved.” He claimed that party leadership was acting on the strength of majority. “If the central leadership also follows the line of the state leadership which is acting in a fascist manner without respecting the sentiments of the people, it will be suicidal for the party” he added.
As per the suggestions of the central leadership Achuthanandan owned up certain lapses on his part. He went self critical and told the committee that his visit to Chandrasekharan’s house on the day of Neyyattinkara by election could have been avoided.
When Karat reached Thiruvananthapuram on July 23 to report the central committee decisions at the state committee meeting he raised the pitch and pointed out that Achuthanandan had to correct his ways. Karat asked Achuthanandan to own up his lapses and told the committee that Achuthanandan would own it up in public. However, Achuthanandan who accepted certain lapses, said he had no regret in criticising the rightist aberration of the state party leadership.
In view of the fact that Karat has acted in such a way pleasing Vijayan, instead of asking both the leaders to toe the party central leadership line, it would not be certain whether Achuthanandan would own up his lapses in public or not. On the other hand, he has already complained to the politburo members that the central committee’s resolution was manipulated and selectively published in the party mouthpiece. He has also expressed displeasure over Karat’s partisan approach.