E P Jayarajan to replace A Vijayaraghavan as LDF convenor

EP Jayarajan

Thiruvananthapuram: With A Vijayaraghavan finding a place in the CPM politburo, former minister and CPM central committee member E P Jayarajan has been appointed as the new LDF convenor. The decision was taken at the CPM State Committee and State Secretariat held here on Monday.

Though there were instances of a PB member holding the post of the LDF convenor, like in the case of V S Achuthanandan, the CPM wanted Vijayaraghavan to spend more time at the national level. This prompted Vijayaraghavan to step down from the LDF convenor's post.

There was already speculation that either Jayarajan or A K Balan would succeed Vijayaraghavan as the LDF convenor. During the 23rd CPM Party Congress, both the leaders were even tipped to find a place in the politburo. Balan's chances were considered especially higher as it was felt the 23rd Party Congress would finally pick a dalit leader to the PB. A dalit did find a place in the CPM's highest body but was represented by the West Bengal leader Dr Ram Chandra Dome.

Now, Jayarajan, who is two years younger to Balan, has been chosen to replace Vijayaraghavan. Both Jayarajan and Balan are said to be close to Pinarayi Vijayan. Both were ministers in the first Pinarayi Vijayan ministry but had to keep out of the Assembly contest in 2021 because of the CPM's two-term norm.

A top source in the party said that Jayarajan was chosen for his man-management skills. "He is an organisation man and has always demonstrated a special skill to unite people for a common cause," the leader, a central committee member, said. At this juncture, when K-Rail and liquor policy have already caused slight disagreements within the LDF, it is important to have a leader like Jayarajan who can aggressively push forward Pinarayi Vijayan's agenda without causing unease among LDF partners.

The State Committee is also expected to bring about changes to the posts of the Chief Minister’s political secretary and editor of Deshabhimani, the CPM mouthpiece. P Sasi, once the all-powerful political secretary of Chief Minister E K Nayanar from 1996 to 2001, could replace the serving political secretary, Puthalath Dineshan. In turn, Dineshan could be put in charge of Deshabhimani publications.

Sasi was expelled from the party for sexual misconduct in 2011. He was reinstated in 2018, inducted into the Kannur district committee in 2019 and at the 23rd Party Congress this month, Sasi was included in the CPM State Committee.

Sources also say that there was a possibility for Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan to return as the Chief Minister's political secretary. If so, Sasi would be anointed as the CPM Kannur district secretary.

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