Kerala CPI(M) in a bigger soup

The beleaguered Kerala CPI(M) has sunk deeper into trouble with Idukki district party secretary M M Mani kicking up a fresh controversy with a startling admission that the CPI(M) had resorted to killing of political enemies in the past.   

The Mani statement could not have come at a worse time for the party which is struggling to cope with the serious situation arising from increasing arrest of party leaders in connection with the horrendous murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T P Chandrashekharan.

Mani's candid admission, which has sent shock waves across the state, came at a meeting in Idukki district convened to explain the party's stand on the RMP leader's murder.

Mani, who is close to the official wing of the state CPI(M) leadership, said the CPI(M) had indulged in murder of political rivals who figured in its hit list. Referring to the murders in the early eighties, he said the party had prepared a list of political enemies and eliminated them one by one. He made specific mention of three cases in which one Congressman was shot dead, another beaten to death and a third stabbed to death!

Mani's disclosures knock the bottom of the argument of top CPI(M) leaders including state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan that the CPI(M) does not believe in the politics of murder.

The Congress in the state lost no time in trying to derive political mileage out of the acute discomfiture of the CPI(M) in the wake of Mani's outrageous remarks. KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has demanded that a case be registered against Mani. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy signalled his intent to have the matter probed into without any loss of time. The Director General of Police also gave directions that the cases of political murders which took place in Idukki district in the eighties be revisited.

Although Mani has tried to wriggle out of a tight situation by claiming that his speech had been distorted, the damage has already been done. And the state CPI(M) leaders will find it extremely difficult to defend him. If they try to justify his remarks, that would amount to negation of their stand that the party is opposed to the politics of murder. The fact that Pinarayi Vijayan has not reacted to the Mani remark so far exemplifies the state CPI(M) dilemma.          

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition, V S Achuthanandan has stunned the official wing of the state CPI(M)  with his remark that those who were not happy about the police investigation into the murder of Chandrashekharan should move the court. VS's stance is at sharp variance with the official stand of the state party that the police investigations were politically motivated and proceeding according to the script prepared by the UDF Government. It is also indicative of VS's opposition to the CPI(M)'s stand that it would resist the arrest of party leaders in connection with the Chandrashekharan murder politically.  

VS also strongly denounced CPI(M) leader T K Hamsa's outbursts against him. VS's strong response has come in the wake of Vijayan's efforts to make light of Hama's remarks. The message is loud and clear: anyone trying to attack him will get it back in the same coin.
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