New Delhi: Top leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, will discuss plans for the upcoming assembly election in Tripura, the only state where it’s in power, when they gather for a three-day central committee meeting in Kolkata beginning Thursday.
The committee will also consider a proposal to expel three aides of veteran CPM leader and former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, a move that could lead to further rancour within the party in the southern state.
“We will be taking stock of the present political situation and we will be concentrating on the immediate state elections, specially Tripura,” CPM politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai said. “For Tripura, we will be looking at how the pre-poll work and other campaign-related work is going on.”
The central committee is the highest decision-making body of the party and this is its last meeting prior to the election in Tripura, scheduled for 14 February. The CPM will also discuss strategies for the general election due next year, a second central committee member said, on condition of anonymity. “It is a part of our assessing the political situation. We will be assessing our position in several states,” this person said.
As for Achuthanandan’s aides, the panel will consider a proposal by the CPM’s Kerala state committee recommending their expulsion.
The state panel, headed by the former chief minister’s rival Pinarayi Vijayan, has decided to expel former press secretary K. Balakrishnan, Achuthanandan’s personal assistant A. Suresh and additional private secretary V.K. Sasidharan from the party.
They are charged with leaking to the media contents of a review prepared by the party’s state committee for internal circulation at its congress in Coimbatore in 2008.
The CPM, however, sought to play down the matter. “Many such matters are before us and Kerala is one such example. It is like any other state report,” Pillai said. The party will also discuss national issues including a number of bills that are pending before Parliament, including the National Food Security Bill, Insurance Amendment Bill and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill.
The CPM plans to organize a nationwide, two-month drive to create awareness on issues such as food, land, employment and corruption.