Kannur: Within hours of cremation of Communist Marxist Party (CMP) founder leader M V Raghavan, rival factions formalised split in the party electing General Secretaries of their respective groups by meeting separately here.
While C P John was elected as the General Secretary of the faction that continues in the ruling Congress-led UDF another senior leader K R Aravindakshan was chosen to head the group that has moved closer to the CPI-M-led LDF last evening.
Both the factions claimed that they were acting in accordance with the wishes of Raghavan, who floated the CMP after his expulsion from the CPI-M in 1986.
The party had already split for all practical purposes about an year back but both the groups had retained Raghavan as the General Secretary with John and Aravindakashan officiating as acting General Secretaries of the rival factions.
After the meeting, John told reporters that the party would uphold the legacy of Raghavan who struggled for a new Communist movement free from Stalinist approaches, rejected by the Left the world over.
Aravindakshan claimed that he had the support of the majority in the party central committee.
Once a firebrand CPI-M leader, Raghavan was expelled from the party in 1986 after the leadership rejected the 'alternative' tactical line he proposed pitching in for alliance with parties like Indian Union Muslim League.
Though many of the leaders who stood by him initially fell by the party's official line, Raghavan stood firm by his theory and formed CMP, which became a partner in the UDF.