The 23rd edition of the CPI-M’s state party conference on Friday decided to go for a generational shift with the induction of more youngsters as party state officer-bearers by replacing all those members, except Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who are aged above 75 years.
The biggest surprise has been the drafting of State Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas, son-in-law of Vijayan into the state secretariat.
It was a foregone conclusion that incumbent state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who has been the state secretary, will be given one more three-year term, which would be his last one, as per the rules of the party.
The re-jig was decided by the party that all those leaders aged 75 and above will not be able to sit in party committee’s, and hence 13 of its veteran leaders have been dropped from the 88-member state committee. The most surprising choice was Kannur former strongman P.Sasi, who a decade back was dropped following a scandal where he misbehaved with the daughter of a CPI-M leader, was brought back to the state committee.
Sasi was the last word when E.K. Nayanar was the chief minister during 1996-2001. However, he was dropped after the complaint against him was found to be true.
Among the seasoned veterans, who have been dropped from the state committee as the age bar, includes one of the most popular two-term Minister — G.Sudhakaran from Alappuzha. Ahead of the four-day 23rd party conference, he gave a letter to both Vijayan and Balakrishnan about his not being keen for the committee membership.
Other big names who have been dropped included M.M. Mani, Vaikom Viswan, A.Anandan, P.Karunakaran.
In place of these veterans, A.A. Rahim, Chintha Jerome and 33-year-old V.P. Sanu have been included in the state secretariat.
And another big surprise was the induction of 42-year-old M. Swaraj, one-time legislator, who lost the 2021 Assembly polls, was named in the powerful state secretariat. The only person younger than him to have been become a member of the secretariat was Pinarayi Vijayan, who was inducted in the secretariat when he was just 41 year old.
Meanwhile two State Minister’s V.N. Vasavan and Saji Cherian have also been drafted into the secretariat.