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'Tainted' CPI-M leader faces public ire during yatra

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram | February 05, 2009 12:38 IST
Last Updated: February 05, 2009 12:38 IST

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Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary and politbureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, who is leading a yatra from Kasargod in the northern-most part of Kerala [Images] to state capital Thiruvananthapuram says that his road show has been getting overwhelming response from all corners and that the people are flocking to take part in it.

The CPI-M secretary said this while addressing a mammoth gathering in his home town Thalassery on Thursday morning.

The CPI-M secretary had few days ago accused the Congress, the Muslim League and the BJP-RSS combine for having attacked the yatra at various places. Interestingly, expect for Taliparambu town and parts of Kanghangad and Thalaserry, the rest of the areas covered by the yatra were all traditional CPI-M bastions and political pundits are of the opinion that the CPI-M secretary is hurrying for cover.

Unfortunately, for Pinarayi and the CPI-M, slippers were thrown at him in Payyannur and a person named as Shaji (28) was held responsible for the incident. The CPI-M men roughed him up and claimed that he was mentally unsound.

CPI-M sources told that this was a blatant lie and that Shaji was not unsound and had done this intentionally to convey his protest.

The police have also taken into custody some Yuva [Images] Morcha activists in Panur town while they were trying to burn Pinarayi's effigy. The yatra will traverse through Kannur district and enter Wayanad district on Thursday.

The CPI-M leader, facing corruption charges in the 374.5 crore SNC Lavelin case after the Central Bureau of Investigation chargesheeted him as the ninth accused, said enemies of the party were using aggressive tactics to scuttle the public mileage enjoyed by the yatra. This, according to political pundits, was aimed at his bete noire in the party, veteran CPI-M leader and the state Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.

Achuthanandan has been going hammer and tongs against Pinarayi indirectly and directly pricking him on the SNC Lavelin case. Pinarayi categorically stated that he would in fact take part in the party politbureau meeting to be held in Delhi [Images] on February 14. It may be recalled that the party politbureau was urgently called to discuss the issues related to the CBI chargesheeting Pinarayi and the chief minister's public stand on it.

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