District committees told to submit their choice of candidates in a week
Indicating the serious fix the party finds itself in over candidate selection, particularly the nomination of its top leaders including Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State committee concluded its two-day meeting here on Wednesday without taking any concrete decision.
The State committee dispersed after resolving to ask the party district committees to meet over the coming two days and submit to it their choices for the seats that the party is likely to retain after the seat-sharing exercise within the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF). The State committee will meet again on March 15 and 16 to finalise the party's list of candidates.
The party district committees have been given general guidelines for picking their nominees. They would also have to express their views on fielding top leaders including Mr. Achuthanandan. An argument being put forward by top leaders for the State committee not finalising the candidate list is the delay in concluding the seat-sharing talks within the LDF. The talks are likely to achieve fruition only on Thursday and might get stretched by another day or two.
The State committee also considered the report of a two-member commission comprising LDF convener Vaikom Viswan and former MP A. Vijayaraghavan relating to the sexual harassment charges against State committee member P. Sasi. On the basis of the commission's finding that Mr. Sasi is guilty of the charges, the State committee decided to seek explanation from him within a week as a prelude to further action.
It also cleared the proposal to include former MP N.N. Krishnadas, who had been demoted to the area committee, on the Palakkad district committee.