New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM on Sunday once again pledged support to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu -- though with a safety audit. The move has come as a setback to veteran Kerala leader V.S. Achuthanandan who is against the plant. "Yes, Achuthanandan has taken a different position but there is no question of reviewing our party decision on this issue which was taken at our party congress (at Kozhikode in February this year). We want an independent safety audit to be undertaken before the plant is allowed to function at Kudankulam," CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi after a three-day meet of the party.
Achuthanandan was there in New Delhi for the three-day party meeting of the central committee and politburo. Achuthanandan, defying party directives, proceeded on Sep 18 to visit the locals who were protesting near the venue of the nuclear power plant, which left the party fuming. Even though he was stopped at the entry point of Tamil Nadu in Kerala, it was seen as a moral victory for both Achuthanandan and the protesters at Kudankulam who want the project to be scrapped.
"We are coming out with a resolution on this (Achuthanandan's stand), which you will get tomorrow (Monday)," said Karat. Incidentally, in the three-day meeting, Achuthanandan's visit to Kudankulam came up for discussion and the Kerala delegation in the party took a strong stand against his constant breaching of party discipline and wanted a strong action against him.
Former editor of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) party organ Appukuttan Vallikunnu said if there is a censure against him (Achuthanandan) on the issue, the rules in the party are clear -- it won't be mentioned even in the resolution because it's strictly an internal issue of the party. "But if the resolution makes a mention of it then it's called a public censure," said Vallikunnu.
In his long political career, Achuthanandan has earned six disciplinary actions with the first coming in 1966 and the last in July 2012 when he was given a public censure for taking a divergent stand following the murder of former Kerala party colleague T.P. Chandrasekharan. In 2007 when he was the chief minister, following constant bickering with state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, both were suspended from the politburo.
Achuthanandan is yet to react but has already said that he will wait for the decision of his party on the Kudankulam issue and also on the decision of removing him from the post of leader of opposition in the Kerala state assembly.