VS had no role in Punnapra

CPM Alappuzha district secretary, C.B. Chandra-babu, who wrote an article on the Punnapra-Vaylar uprising which dismissed V.S. Achuthanandan’s role in the party’s historic struggle, told Deccan Chronicle on Sunday that the veteran had no important role in the momentous uprising.

The comment came after his article, which appeared on the 66th anniversary of the uprising, courted a great deal of controversy. The article had acknowledged the role played by a whole lot of leaders, who led the struggle, except VS.

Asked why the article chose to ignore VS, popularly known as the leader of Punnapra-Vaylar, Chand-rababu said that leaders like P.K. Chandranandan were still alive in the district and he had played a greater role than VS. “I did not mention his name too in my article.” The district secretary also said that VS was not even present at the spot when scores of communist workers lost their lives in the firing.

He said nobody had forced him to delete Achuthanandan’s name from the article. He had written three articles on Punnapra-Vayalar for party publications after taking over as secretary in 2009 and none of them carried any reference to Achuthanandan.

The official history of the party describes VS as volunteer captain of one of the rallies against the police camps in Punnapra on October 24, 1946. It says that he had gone into hiding for fear of being arrested.

Reacting to this, Chandrababu said not only VS, but also several leaders had gone into hiding as per the instructions of the party in the district. “How can I highlight only one man’s efforts?,” he asks.
A few weeks ago, CPM leader M.M. Lawrence had questioned VS’ role in the uprising, triggering an emotional outburst.

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