CPI (M) leader VS Achuthanandan’s tortuous wait for the promised ‘Cabinet-level position’ in the Pinarayi Vijayan government seems to be unending.

Though it was widely expected that Wednesday’s meeting of the State Cabinet would result in a decision – this was not to be.

He was expected to be made Chairman of the State Administration Reforms Commission. CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and former general secretary Prakash Karat had this week said a decision on Achuthanandan would be taken by the State Cabinet shortly.

Decision deferred The State Cabinet, at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, is said to have deferred the VS question to next week’s meeting.

The 92-year-old former Chief Minister had played a key role in the victory of the Left Democratic Front in the May 16 Assembly election. It is generally believed that but for him, the LDF would not have secured such a resounding victory.

Achuthanandan, who had initially wanted to be made Chief Minister, had stepped aside after the Central leaders politely told him so in view of his advanced age.

Instead, his arch rival in the party, Vijayan, was made the Chief Minister. As a quid pro quo, Achuthanandan was offered a ‘Cabinet-level, independent’ position in the government. He was also expected to be made a member of the party’s State Secretariat.

However, in spite of the party Politburo deciding to give Achuthanandan a Cabinet-level post and senior leaders like Yechury and Karat publicly stating that VS would be properly accommodated, he continues to be out on a limb – five weeks after the LDF Cabinet was sworn in.

Since Vijayan has wound up the decades-old practice of holding the weekly post-Cabinet-meeting media briefing, the government’s thinking on the issue is still unclear. It seems Vijayan is not in a hurry for accommodating his bête noir.

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