Achuthanandan hints he won't surrender to CPI-M

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 12 (IANS) Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, facing the heat from his CPI-M, indicated Tuesday that he was not ready to go down without a fight.

At a meeting here Monday of the Communist Party of India-Marxist's state committee, 43 of 53 members sought "tough action" against him for his frequent outbursts against state party secretary P. Vijayan.

According to some reports, critics of the 89-year-old Achuthanandan wanted him axed as the leader of the opposition.

On Tuesday, when he reached the media room in the Kerala assembly, he told the media not to ask questions about the party.

When asked if he is going to be removed as leader of the opposition, Achuthanandan, who by then had got up, stopped and shot back: "Don't worry, I certainly have an answer to this."

He went on: "If needed, I can answer this question now itself."

But other leaders of the Left Democratic Front who were with him requested the veteran not to speak on the subject. He agreed, but said: "I can tell you tomorrow."

This is not the first time that Achuthanandan is taking on his party. Until now, he has emerged the winner.

Last month, he managed to spike the decision of the state committee to oust three staff members attached to his office after help from unexpected quarters both from the CPI-M politburo and central committee.


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