The CPI(M) in Kerala, reeling under the impact of the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder investigation, has received another jolt with party veteran and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan reportedly writing to CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat seeking a total overhaul of the party State leadership.
In his letter, which, according to party sources, was sent a few days ago, Mr. Achuthanandan has informed the party general secretary that he did not wish to continue as Leader of the Opposition if there is no overhaul of the party State leadership.
He has accused the current CPI(M) State leadership of trying to protect murderous elements and termed its style of functioning autocratic. Such a style of functioning would spell disaster for the party, he has said.
Mr. Achuthanandan, who has taken a position that is at variance with that taken by the CPI(M) State leadership on Chandrasekharan's murder, has sought urgent meetings of the party Central and State committees to discuss the situation arising after the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader's murder, the general situation in the State party and steps to win back those who have left the CPI(M) over issues of party line.
Mr. Achuthanandan himself was not willing to confirm the existence of the letter. Equally significant, sources close to him would not also deny it. When queried by reporters, CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said in Kasaragod on Sunday that the question whether the letter had indeed been sent should be addressed to Mr. Achuthanandan.
The letter, he said, was the creation of the right wing media. Reports about the letter and its contents were intended only to create an impression that was different from what Mr. Karat had said while addressing a rally in Kannur on Saturday. The attempt of the media was to isolate the CPI(M) with an eye on the upcoming Neyyattinkara Assembly by-election. The party would stand united against such moves, he said.
Mr. Achuthanandan had virtually dared the party to take action against him by openly dissenting with Mr. Vijayan's dubbing of the RMP activists as ‘traitors' and describing Chandrasekharan a ‘brave communist.' The letter is seen as yet another attempt on the part of the veteran leader to force the issue between him and the current State leadership.