The 93-year-old politician keeps mum on whether he will or won't

Will VS Achutanandan contest Assembly polls
news Kerala Polls Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 20:09

CPI-M veteran and state Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Sunday virtually kept open the option of contesting the coming Assembly polls saying that he would make his stand on the issue later.

"I will inform you (media) on that issue later," the 93-year-old party veteran said when reporters asked him whether he would be contesting the polls or not.

His statement assumes significance as the party state secretariat was scheduled to meet here on March 1 followed by the party state committee to discuss the poll strategy.

The meetings, to be attended by party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, would deliberate on who would lead CPI(M)-led LDF's campaign and also on candidates of the party.

A meeting of party's state and central leaders, held in New Delhi yesterday, did not take a final call on whether both Achuthanandan and politburo member and former state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, should contest or not.

According to reports, the central leadership left the issue to be discussed by the state secretariat and state committee.

The candidature of Achuthanandan, who was 'once' a bete noire of Vijayan, assumes relevance as the party faced an embarrassing situation in 2011 and 2006 over the issue.

CPI-M, which initially denied ticket to Achuthanandan in those years had to reverse its decision due to pressure from the public and grass-root level workers in the state.

The party central leadership was keen to avoid such a situation this time, political observers pointed out.

Achuthanandan, a founder leader of CPI-M after the split of undivided Communist Party of India in 1964, is a leader who played a key role in the growth of communist movement in the state.

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