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Kerala CM, secy suspended from CPI-M politburo
May 26, 2007 17:45 IST
Last Updated: May 26, 2007 18:47 IST
Sending a strong signal that it will not tolerate factionalism, the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo on Saturday suspended Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and CPI-M state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan from the highest policy making body for their public spat in violation of party norms.
Days after the two CPI-M veterans aired their criticism of each other in public, especially after the government's demolition drive in the Munnar hill resort, the politburo took serious note of the issue and decided to get its act together to set the faction-ridden state unit in order.
Both Achuthanandan and Vijayan, who have been members of the politburo for several years, will however continue as chief minister and state secretary respectively.
Announcing the decision, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said the open criticism by the two senior leaders have violated the norms of the party and the clear directive of the politburo and the central committee that the state party leadership should not air their differences publicly.
The poliburo felt that the behaviour of the two veteran leaders was "unacceptable" and action should be taken against them, Karat said reading out the four-paragraph resolution of the apex body to newsmen at the end of its two-day meeting.
"The politburo decided to suspend V S Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan from the politburo and place the matter before the central committee for its consideration. The two comrades will continue to discharge all their other party responsibilities," he added.
The central committee is scheduled to meet in New Delhi for three days from June 24.
The tug-of-war between Achuthanandan and Vijayan took a serious turn after their comments in the media taking potshots at each other.
The politburo while discussing the conduct of Achuthanandan and Vijayan said they have made certain remarks and criticisms regarding each other to the media.
Karat said all other matters related to the state unit of the party will be discussed by the politburo with the Kerala state committee.
The differences between Vijayan and Achuthanandan reached a flashpoint on Wednesday when the chief minister, without specifically naming his arch-foe in the party, accused him of leaking debates in the Left Democratic Front meetings to the media.
When reporters at a Cabinet briefing specifically asked whether he was referring to Vijayan, he said, "Don't you know what I mean?"
Achuthanandan said the decisions of the front often came out in the media well before the LDF meetings were over, which could mean that those who were blaming the media were relying on the media.
Vijayan, who has been blaming a "media syndicate" for spreading false stories against the party, strongly reacted within hours by saying that his senior colleague should have specified whom he was talking about when he made such a serious charge.
"Achuthanandan is a senior leader and a party politburo member. If he had doubts about another politburo member, he should have said it clearly," Vijayan told reporters when asked about the CM's remarks.
"This is a courtesy expected between comrades," Vijayan said.