Achuthanandan returns to ring, punches Pinarayi


The Opposition leader V. S. Achuthanandan, has pushed his party bosses to the wall on the Chandrasekharan murder, openly dissociating with their use of “traitor” against “a brave Communist” and hinting he is ready to take the long factional fight to its logical end.

The timing is apt. The entire State, cutting across political affiliations, reckons that the savagery—slashing a rival with more than 50 deadly cuts —has no place in the democratic political discourse of Kerala.

On one side of the political spectrum is the CPI (M) dominant faction and on the other side the resounding assortment of the ruling UDF and LDF allies, grouped in shock disapproval of a murderous vendetta, thought long banished in Kerala.

It’s the moral weight of this new multitude which prompted Achuthanandan to defy Vijayan and proceed to Kozhilkode to express solidarity with followers of the slain hero on Saturday.

This is why he iterated categorically on Wednesday that the epithet “traitor” is “Vijayan’s” personal opinion. “I do not subscribe to that view”, he said, implying that view of Pinarayi Vijayan, the CPI (M) State secretary, does not reflect the party stand.

Achuthanandan draws a straight line here; though Vijayan has been saying since September 11, 2008 that Chandrsekharan is a “traitor…beyond pardon”, the party has not resolved it so.

If it were so, the Kannur district secretary, P. Jayarajan, would not be discussing peace with the Revolutionary Marxist Party till a few weeks before the murder.

The party Central leadership also did not lend much weight to the two statements- Vijayan speaking for the organization and Achuthanandan speaking as the Opposition leader.

Vijayan, smarting under the embarrassment, thundered at Panur on Wednesday that party men can easily make out those who shout other’s slogans and eulogize renegades.

He was referring to the State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala, using the borrowed term of “brave Communist” to salute Mr Achuthanandan.

Sources said Achuthanandan, “who sits on the left brink of a party, gravitating to the right,” feels he may not be able to “mend” the organization, though the organizational consensus has been to constructively engage the ex-comrades.

Again, close aides say, neither power nor the romantic notion of a red funeral shroud would deter the leader from pursuing a pro-people agenda even in his autumnal years.

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