ALAPPUZHA: Halfway past, the 21st state conference of the CPM here has definitely shrunk into a stage for settling scores between party veteran V S Achuthanandan and outgoing state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. The focus of the conference has taken such a shift that it is a VS versus Pinarayi fight, in a passionate fashion which is seemingly personality-oriented and unparalleled in the history of CPM in the state.
The public perception hovers only on such a realm in the jig-saw game, even as many issues of concern ranging from international political developments to the Indian scenario to the Kerala context are topics for discussions in the conference.
The internal contradictions in the CPM state unit, stemming from the reluctance to not shed its rigid structure on the one hand and cash in on the popularity of V S Achuthanandan or other strategic advances for the benefit of scoring in parliamentary politics is bound to weigh high in the final solution to the current crisis. With West Bengal falling, the CPM central leadership is naturally in a dilemma, as the party cannot afford to take big hits anymore.
Achuthanandan outsmarted his critics on Saturday through his deft move to boycott the delegates’ session and forcing the central leadership to intervene. The steamrolling of the popular leader at the instance of Pinarayi Vijayan and the official faction may loose its intensity now, but any truce with Achuthanandan remains unlikely to last long. A new secretary, for which Kodiyeri Balakrishnan is billed atop as a choice, will not make any paradigm shift. For, VS has cultivated his political image and prowess as a rebel and draws mass support.
With delegates from various districts remaining eager to tug the official line for maintaining discipline and put an end to factionalism, the state conference has turned into a virtual trial against Achuthanandan. The dye was cast well in advance by the official faction to cut him to size. It is amazing to note that the strangle hold of the official faction is such, that hardly anyone among the around 600 delegates has valiantly raised their voice in support of VS so far. The delegates’ session will continue on Sunday.
The adoption of a resolution by the state secretariat against the alleged anti-party activities of Achuthanandan, ahead of the conference and Pinarayi going with details to the press, has stoked the direction of the whole event. The same issue is the bone of contention between the two sides.
Chandranpillai, Sarma meet VS
Alappuzha: In continuation of the conciliatory measures, state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan sent VS confidant S Sarma and K Chandranpillai to meet VS at his residence at Punnapra. It was following the available PB’s meeting that general secretary Prakash Karat asked Pinarayi and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to meet VS and persuade him to come back to the conference. Around 8.45 pm on behalf of Pinarayi Vijayan, Chandranpillai and Sarma met him and held talks for 20 minutes. It is learnt VS was adamant on his stand and even threatened to return to Thiruvananthauram if his demands were not met. His demands include withdrawal of the secretariat’s resolution and disciplinary action against Pinarayi for releasing the resolution ahead of the conference.