Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 30 (IANS) After a lull, the tiff between a faction of the CPI-M and party veteran V.S.Achuthanandan resurfaced Tuesday, when the former in a statement criticised him for defending a former staff member of his who was arrested for setting ablaze the memorial of P.Krishna Pillai, founder-leader of the Communist movement in Kerala, in Alappuzha last year.
Of the five accused in the case, prime accused Litheesh P.Chandran was a staff member of Achuthanandan when he was the chief minister from 2006 to 2011.
Initially, Achuthanandan termed the attack ‘heinous and pre-planned’. But when Chandran and his close friends were named as accused, Achuthanandan termed it as a conspiracy of the police and remarked that the CPI-M should condemn the police probe.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the party approved the sacking of the party members accused of desecrating the monument of the revered Communist leader.
“It was wrong on the part of Achuthanandan to have glorified Chandran, which has caused a dent to the party image and he should stop airing such remarks in public,” read the statement.
Chandran earlier this month was arrested and released on bail a few days later, while the others managed to get anticipatory bail from the Kerala High Court.
The party also gave a clean chit to a local party veteran in Alappuzha, T.K.Palani, whom Achuthanandan had alleged that he had a role in the vandalisation.
Pillai was a legendary Communist, who died following a snake bite, Aug 19, 1948, while he was in the hiding.
Former editor of the CPI-M party organ, Appukuttan Vallikunnu said that even though the party and Achuthanandan have been at loggerheads for some time now, Tuesday’s development cannot be taken lightly as the party is heading towards its state conference and is to elect a new state party secretary as present secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has completed three terms.