Alappuzha (Kerala), Feb 21:
Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan wants to quit as the leader of opposition in the assembly, his close aide said Saturday.
His aide Berlin Kunjananthan Nair told reporters that Achuthanandan spoke to him and he was deeply hurt.
“He (Achuthanandan) told me (Nair) that he will not leave the party and will attend the 22nd CPI-M Congress in Visakhapatnam in April. He wants to quit as leader of opposition in the assembly,” said Nair, who has been a fellow traveller and a close aide of Achuthanandan.
Meanwhile, a crowd gathered at his residence and shouted slogans in his support.
Earlier, Achuthanandan was Saturday pulled up at the state Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) conference here for breaching party discipline, following which he walked out of the meet.
Achuthanandan walked out during the morning session of the conference which began Friday. He was followed by reporters but the veteran headed for his home in Punnapara and did not speak to anyone.
Sources said he was deeply hurt after being criticised over a 50-page party report tabled at the meeting, attacking the veteran for his constant breach of party discipline.
“He told me that when a party member, belonging to a higher committee comes under attack in a meeting, he must be given an opportunity to reply to the remarks made against him,” said Nair.
The party politburo has already met and decided to talk to Achuthanandan, who cancelled his press meeting scheduled to be held at 4 p.m at his home.
On Friday, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan went hammer and tongs at his arch rival and after an hour, Achuthanandan hit back at Vijayan.
Trouble between the two has been a long standing problem for the party and over the years, Vijayan’s hold on the party has become stronger, while Achuthanandan has been losing ground.
On April 11, 1964, 38 council members of the Communist Party walked out, protesting some actions of Communist Party of India (CPI) leader S.A. Dange which paved the way for the formation of the CPI-M. Achuthanandan, 91, is the only person still alive from the time of the formation of the CPI-M.