Kerala

CPI(M) Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan goes on indefinite medical leave

Communist Party of India(Marxist) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan   | Photo Credit: S.K. MOHAN

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has gone on a leave of absence for medical treatment.

A press release issued by the CPI(M) State secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday said Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener A. Vijayaraghavan would officiate as the party State secretary in Mr. Balakrishnan's stead.

The CPI(M) has not set any date for Mr. Balakrishnan's return, triggering speculation that his going on leave presaged a “rectification campaign” in the party in the run-up to the local body and State Assembly elections.

However, Mr. Vijayaraghavan denied the notion and said that it was an unfounded rumour floated by persons with a jaundiced view.

Nevertheless, the Congress and the BJP spared no effort to link Mr. Balakrishnan's “exit” to the arrest of his son Bineesh Kodiyeri on drug trafficking-related money laundering charges by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Bengaluru in August.

Also read | Bineesh Kodiyeri remanded in judicial custody till November 25

Leaders of both parties suggested that Mr. Balakrishnan had come under pressure from within the CPI(M) to “step down”.

His “departure” had vindicated their stance, they said. 

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said it had belatedly dawned on the CPI(M) that the case against Bineesh had become an overbearing liability for the rank and file members. Many had shied away from meeting voters.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran said the CPI(M) faced the same predicament in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The ED had arrested his former Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar on money laundering charges. It had summoned his additional private secretary C.M. Raveendran for questioning. Mr. Vijayan should emulate Mr. Balakrishnan and quit, Mr. Ramachandran said. 

Communist Party of India (CPI) State secretary Kanam Rajendran said Mr. Balakrishnan going on leave for treatment was an internal affair of the CPI(M) and a personal necessity. 

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said Mr. Balakrishnan had no recourse but to resign following the arrest of Bineesh. In a Facebook post, Mr. Muraleedharan said "even children in Kerala knew the truth" however hard the CPI(M) tried to obfuscate the facts. He said if political propriety was the yardstick of Mr. Balakrishnan's departure, then Mr. Vijayan should follow suit.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:15:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-kerala-secretary-kodiyeri-balakrishnan-goes-on-indefinite-medical-leave/article33093072.ece

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