Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan has asked the party's national leadership to remove his rival Pinarayi Vijayan as state secretary. In a letter to party general secretary Prakash Karat and politburo member Sitaram Yechuri, he also said that many party faithful were leaving it because of "wrong policies" of the state leadership.

Sources close to Achuthanandan said, the letter was written three days back. The development comes little over a week after the CPI-M veteran warned that Vijayan would soon meet the fate of Communist icon S.A. Dange who was shown the door by the party.

He mentioned that despite being a senior leader in the party, nothing was discussed with him and he had been isolated by Vijayan. One of the main reasons why an increasing number of party faithfuls were leaving the party was "wrong policies" of the state leadership, he alleged, as it is deviating from the principled stand of left ideology.

He said if the things in the party went on the same way, he would have no option but to step down as the leader of opposition in the Kerala Assembly.

Meanwhile, CPI-M leader M.M. lawerence told the media that Achuthanandan was not the person to decide if someone had to go or not."All know that there has been an issue of factionalism in the party and strangely those who created it are raking it up again and again... look, in our party it is  various committees that take up such issues and not individuals," said lawerence, known to be a close aide of Vijayan.

Former Home Minister and CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, however, remained tight-lipped about the letter and said he was not in the know of things of this particular letter.

Reacting to the issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said: "This letter explains the fact that the CPI-M state leadership instead of taking corrective steps against those who do wrong, is currently protecting those who do wrong."

State Finance Minister K.M. Mani went a step further and asked Achuthanandan that it is time for him to come out of the CPI-M."What he has said about Vijayan is fully correct," said Mani.

(Agencies)

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