Says murders are nothing new to the party
The Idukki district secretary of the CPI(M) has stirred a hornets' nest and put his party on the defensive by telling a public meeting at Thodupuzha that the CPI(M) had indulged in killing of its enemies in the past.
By late Saturday evening, there were also sufficient hints of the State government moving towards reopening the cases referred to by Mr. Mani.
With TV channels beaming his speech right through the day on Saturday, there was instant demand from various quarters of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) for reinvestigation of the killings that he had referred to in his speech. Mr. Mani, as the televised version of his speech showed, said that faced with attacks from Congress leaders, the party had prepared a list of persons to be finished off and killed three of them. One of them was shot dead, the second beaten to death, and the third was stabbed to death, he said.
Although Mr. Mani later told TV channels that he was only recalling incidents that had happened in the distant past, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government would take a serious view of Mr. Mani's statement. The person who should react to Mr. Mani's statement was CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, he said.
The Chief Minister is understood to have held discussions with Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishan and State Police Chief Jacob Punnoose at Tirur hours after his interaction with the media where the general consensus was that the cases in question would be revisited.
Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters in Alappuzha, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala wanted both the Leader of the Opposition and the CPI(M) State secretary should clarify their stand on Mr. Mani's statement.
He also called upon the government and the police to initiate legal steps against Mr. Mani.
The government should order a probe into the political murders during the last 20 years in the wake of the statement, he said.