New Delhi, Oct. 14: The CPM central committee today censured V.S. Achutanandan for his refusal to toe the party line on the protest-hit Kudankulam nuclear power project, making it the second rebuke this year for the veteran comrade.
In July, the central committee had censured the 88-year-old former Kerala chief minister for speaking against the party’s state leadership on the murder of a rebel leader.
A resolution adopted by the committee said Achutanandan, by opposing the project, had taken a position “contrary” to the party’s stand. “The central committee rejects his views. It censures him for his refusal to abide by the stand which was worked out at the party congress. The central committee directs Com. V.S. Achutanandan to adopt the stand taken by the party.”
VS had not only voiced support for local residents protesting against the Tamil Nadu plant but had also proceeded to join them.
At its party congress in April, the CPM had said the agreement for the Russian-built reactors had been signed “two decades before the Indo-US nuclear deal”, at a time the US and other countries imposed sanctions on India. “Since then, two reactors from Russia have already been constructed at considerable cost and they are at the final stage before commissioning,” the resolution said.
VS argued that since the party had opposed the US nuclear deal, it should oppose all nuclear plants for the dangers they pose. At the central committee meet, VS, sources said, asserted that his stand might have helped the party reconnect with the masses. But he was reprimanded. VS is learnt to have agreed to follow the party line on Kudankulam.
“(The) party congress is the highest decision making body of the party. How can the central committee change a stand that has been taken by the party congress,” general secretary Prakash Karat said.
The resolution, however, sought to strike a balance by demanding an “independent safety audit” before the reactors are commissioned.