Special Correspondent

While choosing Chief Minister, says Ramachandran Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai has said that the CPI(M) nominee for Chief Minister, in the event of the LDF coming to power, would be one who can give efficient leadership in solving Kerala's problems.

Participating in a 'meet-the-press' programme here on Thursday, Mr. Pillai said the party would also take note of the views of the people when deciding who should be its Chief Minister nominee.

The CPI(M) would take a decision in the matter only after the elections, but it would not merely be a decision of any committee. "We have always gone by the will of the people and we have never hesitated to correct our mistakes," the CPI(M) leader said.

Mr. Pillai laughed away the suggestion that he would be a consensus candidate for the post of Chief Minister and said in jest that it seemed to be part of somebody's bid to malign him.

He also did not give much credence to the Congress charge that the CPI(M) poll campaign in Kerala was being tightly controlled by the party Polit Bureau with five PB members camping in the State. Several Central leaders of the Congress were also present in the State, but that did not mean that they were controlling the Congress campaign, he said.

The CPI(M) leader said there was no basis for the allegation that party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was keeping away from the campaign.

He was attending campaign meetings from 7.30 a. m. to 10 p.m. everyday and attending to party work at other times. There was, therefore, no basis for the reports to the contrary, he said.

Asked whether the CPI(M) leadership now thought that the decision to field Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan had boosted the LDF campaign, Mr. Pillai said even more noteworthy was the predicament of those who had praised Mr. Achuthanandan at one point, but could not change their line now.

The Polit Bureau member said there was no change in the party's perceptions about the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami, but would welcome the support offered by them for the LDF. He did not also intend to provoke them by saying that the LDF would win even they did not support the Oppositon alliance, he added.

Mr. Pillai said the Left was not happy with the functioning of the UPA Government at the Centre so far as there was little consultation with the Left on issues on which decisions could be through executive orders.