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VS refuses to bow, returns to T’puram

VS refuses to bow, returns to T’puram

Alappuzha: Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan, who walked out of the state CPI-M conference and revealed his intention to step down as leader of opposition, shrugged off the party’s efforts to mollify him by returning to Thiruvananthapuram Sunday early morning.

The nonagenarian left his Punnapra home here for Thiruvananthapuram around 4 am. As per reports, he has informed the Politburo members that he won’t return to the conference unless the resolution passed by the party state leadership against him is withdrawn.

Although his close aides K Chandran Pillai and S Sharma tried to mollify him calling on him at his residence here, that yielded no result.

According to sources, state leadership is unlikely to withdraw the resolution against Achuthanandan which pulled him up for breaching party discipline.

A grim-looking Achuthanandan walked out of the Saturday morning session of the 21st state party conference that began here Friday. He was followed by a battery of reporters but the veteran headed for his home near here at Punnapara, and did not speak to anyone.

Sources said the 91-year-old leader was deeply hurt after being criticised in a over 50 page party report which attacked him for his constant breach of party discipline.

His aide Berlin Kunjananthan Nair told reporters that Achuthanandan was deeply hurt.

"He told me that he will not leave the party and will attend the 22nd CPI-M Congress in Visakhapatnam in April. He wants to quit as leader of opposition in the assembly," said Nair, who has been close to Achuthanandan.

A crowd gathered outside Achuthanandan's residence and shouted slogans in his support.

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