CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby has caused a flutter with his reported, and so far not publicly denied, offer to resign his membership in the Assembly since he had fallen behind his UDF rival in the Kundara Assembly segment, which he represents in the House, in the Lok Sabha elections.

Instead of denying persistent media reports in this regard, Mr. Baby said in reply to questions from different TV interviewers that, from an ethical point of view, his continuation as an MLA representing Kundara had become untenable though political pragmatism might dictate otherwise. Asked specifically by one interviewer whether he stood by the ethicality of the issue or pragmatism, he replied, “On all such issues, ethics must have precedence.”

Mr. Baby had fallen behind his RSP rival N.K. Premachandran by over 6,900 votes in the Assembly segment. Speculations about Mr. Baby’s ethical dilemma first hit the public domain with reports from Delhi suggesting that he had offered his resignation from the State Assembly at the CPI(M) Polit Bureau meeting.

Subsequently, there were reports that he had reiterated his stand at the State secretariat meeting of the party as well.

Although reporters had confronted him with questions on the issue in both Delhi and Kerala, Mr. Baby had taken the position that he did not believe in discussing party matters with the media.

Refuses to deny

When contacted by The Hindu here on Saturday, Mr. Baby took the same stand and refused to confirm or deny his reported offer. The ethicality under discussion was a real one, but he did not wish to comment on it. The TV channels were interpreting his statements in their own, he added.

When the question was posed to CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, he would only say that the party never saw it that way. Elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assembly were different and there were several instances in the past as well of parties and alliances gaining or losing in Assembly segments in Lok Sabha elections, he said.

More In: Kerala | National