CPI(M) Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan goes on leave for treatment


A press release issued by the CPM State secretariat said Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor, A. Vijayaraghavan, would officiate as party State secretary in Mr. Balakrishnan’s stead.

 

The State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, on Friday went on a leave of absence for treatment purposes.

A press release issued by the CPM State secretariat said Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor, A. Vijayaraghavan, would officiate as party State secretary in Mr. Balakrishnan’s stead.

The CPM has not set any date for Mr. Balakrishnan’s return to the helm of the party’s State unit.

CPM central committee member M.V. Govindan said Mr. Balakrishnan’s decision to go on leave had nothing to do with the arrest and incarceration of his son Bineesh Kodiyeri on drug trafficking related money laundering charges by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Bangalore as insinuated by some quarters.

Mr. Balakrishnan had sought the consent of the CPM State secretariat to go on leave temporarily for treatment. He said the arrest of Bineesh was a personal matter and not a political issue concerning the CPM.

When asked why the CPM had not put any person in Mr. Balakrishnan’s stead when he went on extended leave to the U.S. for treatment last year, Mr. Govindan said the circumstances were different between then and now.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan assumes charge as CPM State secretary at a time when the party faced strong political headwinds and an energised opposition in the run-up to the local body polls in December.

The scandals centred around the UAE gold smuggling case and the arrests of Mr. Bineesh and M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had arguably not augured well for the public image of the government and Left Democratic Front (LDF). Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had demanded that Mr. Vijayan and Mr. Balakrishnan quit their respective posts.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala claimed Mr. Balakrishnan’s decision to go on leave presaged the growing rumblings of rebellion in the CPM.

“The arrests of Mr. Sivasankar and Mr. Bineesh were signs of the rot that has set in the CPM and the government. Mr. Vijayan had steeped the party and government in corruption and criminality.

“Justifying the shenanigans of the government and kin of party leaders had become a massive and inescapable responsibility for CPM workers.

“They found it challenging to face the electorate or campaign for the LDF at the hustings. The CPM sensed party workers were on the verge of mutiny and “removed” the party secretary. It might be the turn of the Chief Minister next”, Mr. Chennithala said.



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