Thiruvananthapuram, March 22 (IANS) Veteran CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan appears to be rebuilding bridges with his colleagues, giving his party a clean chit in the sensational murder of a Left leader.
Achuthanandan, who as late as February this year, had supported a demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of Left leader T.P. Chandrasekharan (three CPI-M leaders were among those arrested for the murder), told reporters Saturday that the murder case was no longer the biggest issue of the times.
“The biggest issue today is price rise and not the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case. I fail to understand why a section of the media is trying to rake up the murder case again and again,” said Achuthanandan, asking the media not to play up this issue.
The former chief minister was speaking to reporters during an election-related talk show organized here.
“Today, the sad thing is that those who had to provide security for Chandrasekharan appear to be the ones most grieved. If they (the incumbent Oommen Chandy government) had given him the security that he had asked for, this murder would not have happened,” Achuthanandan said.
He also ridiculed Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who was home minister when the gruesome murder occurred, for literally cashing in on Chandrasekharan’s murder.
“Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan even made money by penning a book on TP. I have never made anything out of this murder,” said Achuthanandan.
Chandrasekharan, 51, who launched the Revolutionary Marxist Party after a squabble with the CPI-M, was stabbed 51 times by assailants May 4, 2012 when he was returning home on his motorcycle.
Earlier this year, a trial court sentenced 11 accused to life imprisonment. They included three CPI-M district level leaders.
Soon after the murder, Achuthanandan had spoken out harshly against state party secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan. The bitterness between the slain leader and the CPI-M leadership was such that the former chief minister was the only top leader who paid his last respects to Chandrasekharan.
But the biggest shocker came during a crucial by-election in the state capital last year, when Achuthanandan on the campaign trail, reached Chandrasekharan’s house. The slain leader’s widow Rema broke down on seeing him and Achuthanandan was seen comforting her in public.
Asked now whether his volte face will leave Rema crestfallen, the veteran Communist leader did not answer. When the reporter persisted with the query, he shot back: “I have already given my opinion in this case,” effectively dodging the question.
He also rejected media reports that the reason behind his sudden change of stance and toeing the party line was because of a possible re-entry into the CPI-M politburo.
“I started my life as a Communist at the age of 17, way back in 1940. I have come this far and have undergone severe trials and tribulations but have never gone after posts and positions,” said the 90-year-old veteran.
Chandrasekharan’s widow, however, thinks differently.
“He did this now bowing to pressure from his party. His conscience will not accept the present stand that he has taken. He will have to change his position again,” Rema told reporters.