Is Vijayan eyeing the CPI-M general secretary post?

by IANS |

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 18 (IANS) With the West Bengal unit of the CPI-M literally wound up and at Tripura also things appear not that rosy, Kerala is the only state where they reign supreme and ever since Pinarayi Vijayan assumed office as Chief Minister in 2016, has become the undisputed word in his party and hence the talk -- is he eyeing the post of general secretary?

The 76-year-old Vijayan by now has re-written quite a few unwritten laws in his party and this has taken place on account of his iron grip over the party that he has today.

This, however did not come overnight, instead he built it brick by brick when he was the state secretary in Kerala for the longest term which ended after 17 years at the top in 2015.

And when he laid down office as the state secretary, practically every known leader in the party became his ardent fan and when he took over as Chief Minister in 2016, even though the assembly election was de-facto led by his arch rival V.S. Achuthanandan, in a fine stroke with the help of the national unit of the party, he took over as Chief Minister.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said the biggest makeover in the Kerala unit of the party that he has undertaken is, till V.S. Achuthanandan was the chief minister (2006-2011), it was the CPI-M state secretary who always reigned supreme and when Vijayan took over as chief minister in 2016, he became the last word, with the state secretary becoming just a figurative head.

"To speculate, if he will take over as the general secretary at the moment is a bit premature. The Party Congress is scheduled to be held at his home turf Kannur in April this year. The present incumbent Sitaram Yechuri technically can continue for another 3-year term. There is no doubt that Vijayan today is the last word in the party. With the party' state conference to be held at Ernakulam next month, already murmurs have begun at some of the recently held district party meetings, if Vijayan is eyeing the post of the general secretary," said the critic who did not wish to be identified.

Vijayan presently is in the US and admitted to the Mayo Clinic, seeking medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment and is scheduled to return on January 29.

Why the tongues have started wagging is because the Party Congress which elects the new general secretary is being held at Kannur and moreover his second term as Chief Minister began in May last year and it has by now had a bumpy ride and one will have to wait for a while, if the speculation is to be a reality, or otherwise.

"But, do not forget, a lot of conventions in the CPI-M in recent times have been thrown out of the window," added the critic.

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