10 May 2009
Alappuzha (Kerala), May 10: Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who is reportedly facing pressure from within his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to toe the party line on the Vijayan issue or quit, Sunday got support from the Communist Party of India (CPI) who said that he need not step down.
"The CPI is of the firm belief that there is no reason for Achuthanandan to resign. None has so far asked for the resignation of Achuthanandan and all what you hear is just media reports," CPI's Kerala state secretary Veliyam Bharghavan told reporters here.
Bharghavan's statement is on expected lines simply as the CPI always had a soft corner for Achuthanandan as the party too was often rubbed the wrong way by CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and his faction. The CPI had to fight hard before it got a fourth Lok Sabha seat from the state, with Vijayan and his faction reportedly opposed to its demand.
Demands for Achuthanandan's resignation were raised in the meeting of the party's 13-member state secretariat last week for not toeing the party line in the SNC Lavalin corruption case, in which Vijayan has been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Achuthanandan had reportedly displayed hesitation in abiding by the party's directive to forward the state advocate general's report, giving a clean chit to Vijayan in the case, to Governor R.S. Gavai. However, he had finally given in.
With the entire media highlighting the news that Achuthanandan has been asked to go, the top brass of the party both in the state and in Delhi was quick to deny any demand for his resignation.
Senior CPI-M leader and Minister for Local Self Government Paloly Mohammed Kutty said that the party will settle all the issues concerning Achuthanandan.
"So far, there has been no demand for his stepping down. The criticism against Achuthanandan is another issue and the party will settle this issue through discussions," said Kutty, who the Vijayan faction sees as the likely successor to Achuthanandan as and when the need arises.