The long-delayed sacking from the CPI-M of three staff members of Kerala's Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan was effected Sunday at the two-day politburo and central committee meeting of the party in New Delhi.
Those booted out were Achuthanandan's press secretary K. Balakrishnan, additional private secretary V.K. Sasidharan and personal assistant A. Suresh -- all were found to be leaking classified information about the deliberations of the 2008 Coimbatore Party Congress to the media in February 2010.
With the decision, Achuthanandan's arch-rival and Communist party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan appears to have the last laugh after the former did his best to forestall the decision.
On Dec 30 last year, the state committee of the party where Vijayan has a huge majority took the decision to oust the three but the veteran took up this issue with the national leadership and managed to get it delayed till now.
The state committee also wanted Achuthanandan to be removed from the post of leader of opposition but this was not done.
"This is clipping the wings of Achuthanandan... but the party has wisely decided not to take any action on the decision made by the state leadership to oust him from the post of leader of opposition. Since a Lok Sabha election is shortly due, they know taking on Achuthanandan directly would be counter-productive," K.M. Shahjahan, a former Achuthanandan aide thrown out of the party a few years back, said in Thiruvanathapuram.
Meanwhile, the Delhi meeting also decided to appoint a commission to enquire into the points raised by Achuthanandan in his letter given to the politburo Saturday.
Now all eyes are on Achuthanandan on how he responds to the action by his party.
Suresh has been his companion at the meet for the past two days. Meanwhile, Sasidharan refused to comment.
"I have nothing to say on these reports because I have no clue and I have no knowledge of any decisions," he said in Thiruvanathapuram.