Stung by comments made by a party leader that the CPM had a history of killing its opponents, former Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said the claims were merely an attempt to portray the party as one of murderers and should be dismissed with contempt.
Achuthanandan dismissed the Idukki district party secretary’s MM Mani’s claims and said people should treat his comments with the contempt it deserves.
“I was the state party secretary during 1980-82. Hence, I can tell you categorically that Mani’s statement is not factual,” Achuthanandan was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.
The former Kerala chief minister said that Mani was not in a senior position at the time of the alleged murders and the party was not involved in the kind of activities alleged.
“You should reject it with the contempt it deserves as it is an attempt to portray the party as that of murderers,” he said.
Mani’s comments on targetting rebels and opponents comes close to a month after the controversial murder of popular CPM-dissident TP Chandrasekharan. Two CPM leaders were arrested for their involvement in the murder and Mani was speaking at a meeting opposing their arrest.
Mani’s comments have thrown the CPM into a tizzy with CPI-M state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan saying that Mani had committed a “mistake” and his speech was a “deviation” from the party’s political line.
Achuthanandan had already targetted rival Vijayan for Chandrasekharan’s murder saying that the party was indulging in violence and seeking action from the central leadership of the party. While no action has been taken yet, Achuthanandan’s recent actions have prompted speculation on the extent to which the veteran CPM leader would go to see the ouster of Vijayan from the post of state party secretary.