Elevation of more Kerala leaders likely within CPI-M

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Thiruvananthapuram, April 12 (IANS) With Kerala being the only CPI-M- ruled state in the country, senior state level leaders from there are most likely to be elevated to the Central Committee or even to the Politburo of the party during the five-day Congress to held in Hyderabad starting April 18.

At present, the 91-member Central Committee of the Communist Party of India-Marxist has 15 members from Kerala while four of the 16-member Politburo members are from the state.

A knowledgeable source in the party told IANS that 175 leaders from Kerala will be attending the party Congress along with a large contingent of journalists from the party organ “Deshabhimani”.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues to have an iron grip over the state party and wields considerable clout among the national leadership. It was most likely that the state will get more representation in the newly constituted committees, the source added.

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“Although Vijayan and General Secretary Sitaram Yechury do not share the best of relations (as was seen during a decision on aligning with the Congress at the national level), things will not be allowed to run loose when it comes to arriving at important decisions,” said the source who did not wish to be identified.

“Everyone in the party knows that it is passing through a tough phase and it just cannot afford any difference of opinion to flare up,” he said.

Veteran politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai, 80, has hinted at his exit from the Politburo as he wishes to concentrate more on writing.

Likewise, veteran leader and former minister P.K. Gurudasan, 82, is likely to be relieved from the Central Committee.

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The replacements to these seats were likely to come from Kerala itself and the front runners to the Politburo include sitting Kasargode Lok Sabha member P. Karunakaran, who is married to the daughter of veteran Communist A.K. Gopalan; besides Finance Minister Thomas Issac, senior party leaders E.P. Jayarajan and even Minister for SC/ST A.K. Balan, who is seen as the successor to State party Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The new inductees to the Central Committee from the state might include State Power Minister M.M. Mani and Kannur party veterans M.V. Govindan and P. Jayarajan.

“With the national leadership deciding on filling up leadership positions in the party with more women, it would not be surprising if one of the three Central Committee members — Kannur Lok Sabha member P.K. Sreemathy, State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja or M.C. Josephine — get elevated.

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“Also there is every likelihood of fresh women inductees from Kerala into the Central Committee,” said the source.

–IANS

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