9 May 2009 ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: The factional feud in the Kerala CPM on Friday imploded with the state secretariat demanding action against chief minister V S Achuthanandan for violating the party’s line on the Lavalin issue in the Cabinet. The secretariat had decided to approach the central party seeking the removal of the chief minister.
“The chief minister has been brazenly defying party line. He does not have the authority to lead the government. We will convey this view to the central leadership,” said a secretariat member.
The secretariat, which took stock of the developments on the Lavalin front, was of the view that the chief minister’s stand at the Cabinet was contrary to the position taken by the state committee of the party . At the state committee meeting, attended by general secretary Prakash Karat, it was decided that the government should forward advocate general’s opinion, opposing prosecution of Pinarayi Vijayan in the Lavalin case to the governor.
The chief minister, however, opposed the proposal to send the AG’s report to the governor. Mr Achuthanandan said since the issue concerned corruption at high places, it would not be morally tenable to oppose prosecution. “We have been opposing such actions by the Congress. We should not do anything in haste and ask the AG to reconsider the issue” .
When two senior Cabinet colleagues Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Thomas Issac objected to a fresh look into the Lavalin files, the chief minister said he would convey his views to the governor. His Cabinet colleagues from other Left parties pleaded with the chief minister against such an approach. After their intervention, the chief minister agreed to send the AG’s opinion to the governor.
Although the chief minister commands support of the cadre, he does not have much support within the organisation. The composition of the state committee and secretariat is heavily loaded in favour of his bete noire Vijayan.
The goings on in the Kerala cabinet has robbed Achuthanandan of all authority. For the past two years, ministers belonging to his party have been defying him. The chief minister is also fighting a losing battle as officials in his own office have turned against him. His political secretary had recently taken his complaints against the chief minister to the party’s state committee.