Setback to Pinarayi faction

With Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury’s elevation as CPI(M) general secretary, the Kerala unit of the party is faced with a new reality that could see a more than subtle upswing in the fortunes of party veteran V.S. Achuthanandan and some serious operational difficulties for the dominant faction in the State unit.

That Mr. Yechury was elected general secretary against the wishes of the dominant section of the State leadership is no secret, though outgoing general secretary Prakash Karat has termed all talk of a division on the issue a figment of imagination. The faction led by former State secretary and Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan had strongly rooted for S. Ramachandran Pillai’s elevation and only the possibility of certain defeat in the event of a division forced Mr. Pillai and the State leadership to back out .

The Pinarayi faction has never tried to hide its dislike for Mr. Yechury who is widely seen as being more sympathetic towards Mr. Achuthanandan; the latter has been waging a continuous battle with the State leadership, culminating in his walkout from the party State conference in Alappuzha. Had Mr. Pillai become the general secretary, the State leadership would have probably stripped Mr. Achuthanandan of the Leader of Opposition post and kept him out of the State committee permanently.

Mr. Achuthanandan’s happiness at the turn of events was evident as he reached the State capital from Visakhapatnam on Sunday evening, hailing Mr. Yechury’s election as a good augury for the Left in the country and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala.

Mr. Yechury, he hoped, would be able to correct the hostile attitude that had resulted in the RSP and the Janata Dal(U) leader M.P. Veerendrakumar and his supporters leaving the LDF. However, Mr. Yechury will have to do business with the Pinarayi faction that controls the State CPI(M) for the simple reason that this is the strongest unit of the party in the country, both in terms of numbers and resources. Since CPI(M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has also shown a certain spirit of accommodation compared to his predecessor, Mr. Yechury might be able to achieve unity with some ease.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:36:44 PM |

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