As he announces stepping down as leader of the opposition, the CPI(M) veteran ducks questions on whether he was sidelined
Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan yesterday said he would continue to play the role of a “sentinel” of the people of Kerala, a day after the party unanimously nominated Pinarayi Vijayan over him for the CM’s post.
Kerala CM-designate Pinarayi Vijayan meets CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram. Pic/PTI
Achuthanandan, who called a press meet to announce that he was stepping down as opposition leader, refused to be drawn into any matters relating to the selection of party politburo member Vijayan as the new LDF chief minister.
“I will continue as a sentinel of the people of Kerala by upholding the spirit of the Left and taking up people's issues,” Achuthanandan (92) said shortly after the CM-designate made a courtesy call on him at his residence.
Achuthanandan, who was the LDF’s face in the campaign during the May 16 assembly election, evaded questions on whether he had been sidelined.
Swearing-in on May 25
When Vijayan met Achuthanandan earlier, the CM-designate told him that the LDF ministry would be sworn in on May 25 and invited him for it.
Dynasty issues ail Congress: Jaitley
Taking a dig at the dynasty-driven Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the party will shrink in absence of stalwarts like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi as it does not have leaders of that stature. “Where you have dynasties, dynasties become an albatross around your neck. Without the dynasty, you are irrelevant. With the dynasty, you stagnate. That is the problem of the Congress,” he said at an event.
DMDK may lose state party status
‘Captain’ Vijaykanth’s DMDK is in danger of losing the state party status, thanks to its dismal performance in the just concluded polls. DMDK’s rout in the election has resulted in it failing to meet the EC’s guidelines that a party has to not only get 6 per cent of the total votes polled, but also return at least two members to the assembly. DMDK’s vote share plummeted to 2.4 per cent this time from 7.88 per cent in 2011, even as the party failed to return a single legislator.
Sonowal eyes sealing border
Listing two priorities for the new government in Assam, CM-designate Sarbananda Sonowal yesterday said sealing of the borders with Bangladesh in two years and completion of the National Register of Citizens — two of his poll promises — will be done to put an end to infiltration.