CPI-M snubs Kerala CM, won't punish Pinarayi Vijayan

February 12, 2009 12:12 IST

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The internal war of the Communist Party of India-Marxist has intensified ahead of its politburo meeting in New Delhi [Images].

The party's top leadership has made it clear that it will not concede Kerala [Images] Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan's demand and punish his bete noire, party's Kerala unit general secretary Pinarai Vijayan.

A senior CPI-M leader told Business Standard: "He (Achuthanandan) has to fall in line. Otherwise he has go (leave the party)."

While the Kerala chief minister has not yet shown any sign of accepting the party's line on the SNC Lavalin corruption case -- where Vijayan has been termed an accused by the CBI -- the politburo will try to maintain a balance between the two factions in a last-ditch effort.

Achuthanandan had demanded that the matter should be discussed in the politburo. Sources in the party say the Kerala chief minister should be satisfied as the forthcoming politburo meeting on February 14 will indeed discuss the matter.

But the party leadership has ruled out accepting Achuthanandan's demand and punishing Vijayan. "He may see it as an opportunity to strike at Vijayan. But why should we accept that," a party leader asked.

After the Kerala chief minister publicly refused to dub the case as politically motivated, CPI-M's central leadership pointed out that the politburo had issued a statement after consulting everyone, including Achuthanandan.

"The politburo issued the statement attributing political motivations behind the CBI's efforts to pin Vijayan, just recently. How can it now take a different stand? People will laugh at us," said the leader.

The leaders also point out that the current situation is entirely different from the 2006 assembly elections.

"At that time, there was a huge support for Achuthanandan, so we had to intervene and make him the chief minister. But now he has completely lost support within the party," they say.

This is also an indication that the party leadership thinks even if action is taken against Achuthanandan, it won't be adversely affected in the coming polls.