Communist Party of India (Marxist) State committee has decided to expel three members of Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan’s personal staff from the party.

Mr. Achuthanandan’s additional private secretary V.K. Sasidharan, press secretary K. Balakrishnan, and personal assistant A. Suresh have been expelled from the party based on the findings of an internal inquiry into the charge that they had leaked to the media party documents and material that put the State party leadership in poor light and depicted Mr. Achuthanandan as the sole corrective force in the party.

The State committee, which concluded its two-day meeting here on Sunday, took the decision, as proposed by the State secretariat, unanimously.

According to party sources, three of the State committee members expressed reservations about the proposal to expel the three staffers, but finally concurred with the majority when it was clarified that it would take effect only after the party Central committee approves it. Although reporters approached him for his reaction, Mr. Achuthanandan refused to comment on the development. There are, however, reports that he has communicated his displeasure over the decision to the Central leadership.

The inquiry against the expelled staffers was conducted by a two-member panel, comprising party Central committee members Vaikom Viswan and A. Vijayaraghavan, constituted in 2010. The committee had submitted its report in 2011. Although the State committee had discussed the report twice in the past, no decision was taken on it following strong objections from Mr. Achuthanandan. If the Central committee approves the decision (which is not mandatory as the expelled persons belong to lower level committees of the party), he would have no other option but to dispense with their services.

Mr. Sasidharan, a school teacher and a former member of the CPI(M)-led Kerala School Teachers’ Association (KSTA) State committee, had joined Mr. Achuthanandan’s staff as additional private secretary in 2006 when he (Mr. Achuthanandan) assumed charge as Chief Minister. Mr. Balakrishnan, senior journalist and former acting editor of Deshabhimani weekly, had joined Mr. Achuthanandan in the same year. Mr. Suresh, a former SFI activist, has been a constant presence near Mr. Achuthanandan since 2002.

Party finds that they had leaked party documents and material to the media