news Monday, February 23, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 23, 2015 | 1.45 PM IST The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has formed its new state committee for Kerala. Keeping one seat vacant, eighty six members have been elected to the committee. The party members have elected 61-year-old Kodiyeri Balakrishnan as its new secretary for the state.  Holding the post of Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, he is considered a strong man who can build the party organization. He is also considered as a confidante of his predecessor Pinarayi Vijayan. (Newly elected secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (R) with his predecessor Pinarayi Vijayan during the state conference in Alapuzha) Born on 16 November 1953, he joined the Student Federation of India in the early 1970s as a  teenager. He was imprisoned for 16 months when Emergency was imposed. From student politics he entered main stream politics and for the first time won the Kerala assembly election in 1982 from Thalassery. Since then he continued to win in all successive state elections. He married Vinodhini, daughter of then MLA M.V. Rajagopalan, in 1980. In 2006 when the party came to power with V.S. Achuthanandan as the Chief Minister, Balakrishnan was inducted into the cabinet as the Home Minister. He is remembered to make the police force more people-friendly. 2008 was a turning point in his life. He was elected to the Polit Bureau, the party’s highest decision making body, during a conference held in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was a great surprise as Kerala’s political experts had expected only two of its leaders V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan to find place in the Polit Bureau. His strength is the cordial relations he has with both his own party-men and that of the opponent parties. He is also known to be very communicable. A point that is being raised is that he belongs to the district of Kannur, a strong-hold of the Communist Party in Kerala. His predecessor Pinarayi Vijayan also was from Kannur. It is being said that the party is keeping its major positions of power reserved for people from Kannur. Controversies Kodiyeri's son Bineesh Kodiyeri has been in many controversies. His photos with a Russian sex worker where discovered during a sting operation by a channel, his name also emerged in connection with Paul Muthoot's murder. The UDF government in 2013 had alleged that Bineesh had obtained a passport illegally when Kodiyeri was serving as Home Minister of the state. The new secretary has a difficult task at hand.  The Left is widely losing its ground in Kerala and is to face the assembly election in a year. Factionism in the party is something which may take a great deal of the new secretary’s time. The UDF government is totally corrupt Addressing the press for the first time after assuming charge as the secretary of the party in Kerala, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the Chief Minister should not permit Finance Minister K.M. Mani to present the budget as there are many serious allegations of corruption against him. “We will have to conduct a mass protest if the Chief Minister takes no action against the Finance Minister,” he said. V.S. Achuthanandan About Achuthanandan not being included in the newly formed state committee, Balakrishnan said that he is already a member of the central committee which is a higher body. However, the new secretary said that what Achuthanandan did was not correct. “He did not attend the state conference. He did not even consider the words of the General Secretary. A Communist should not act in this manner, none have done so in the past” Balakrishnan said. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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