- Achuthanandan said there is nothing to hail in Alphons Kannanthanam becoming a Union Minister.
- He said Kannanthanam moved BJP camp for more facilities and it should not have happened for a Left traveller
- Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the ministerial post of Kannathanam was an Onam gift to him
- Meanwhile, Kannanthanam replied that Achuthanandan has become old and he can say anything
CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan said there was "nothing to hail" in Alphons Kannanthanam, a former Left sympathiser, becoming a Union Minister. His statement came after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated Kannanthanam in his achievement.
In a statement, the nonagenarian leader said Kannanthanam had moved to the BJP camp for more facilities and it should not have happened to a fellow Left traveller. Kannanthanam, a former IAS officer, had began his political journey as a CPI(M)-supported independent legislator in 2006.
The Chief Minister had congratulated Kannanthanam for becoming a member in the cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Describing Kannanthanam as a "long-term" friend, Pinarayi said the ministerial post was an "Onam gift" to him and hoped that it would give him more strength to work for the state.
Achuthanandan said Kannanthanam's case showed that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) should be more vigilant while selecting candidates.
The Left leader's remarks come at a time when Kannanthanam is on his first visit to Kerala after assuming office as the minister in the BJP-led NDA government.
"A fellow Left traveller should never have become a tool to implement fascism in the country. It (the change of affiliation) was the indication of political decay and there is nothing to hail in this. Kannanthanam should have realised that the interest of the nation and politics were more important and not individual positions," Achuthanandan said.
It was during the tenure of Achuthanandan as the Chief Minister of Kerala that Kannanthanam, a bureaucrat-turned- politician, won Assembly election with the support of CPM and became a legislator.
The Union minister, however, played down the veteran's comments.
"He has become old and so he can say anything," he said.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST