Facing vociferous demands from senior Congress leaders, the State government is under severe pressure to hand over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the investigation into the conspiracy angle in the murder of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan.

The latest to make the demand is V.M. Sudheeran, who, in a letter to Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, said the State government should not delay a decision on the handover. He urged the government not to push Chandrasekharan’s widow, K.K. Rema, into staging a fast to press for the demand.

V.D. Satheesan and T.N. Prathapan, MLAs, had written to the Chief Minister making the demand. K. Sudhakaran, MP from Kannur, had all long been seeking a CBI investigation, while Forest and Environment Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who held the Home portfolio all through the investigation period, maintained that the conspiracy angle was not handed over to the Central agency because the government had been apprehensive that the trial in the case would be delayed, working against any hope of ending political murders in Malabar.

The murder case has three aspects — the killing, the conspiracy and the protection given to the culprits.

Of this, the conspiracy angle is important for the Congress because of its potential as a political weapon against the CPI(M) in its stronghold.

In the initial phases of the investigation, a general impression was that the conspiracy angle will go beyond just the involvement of a few local CPI(M) leaders.

The Congress leaders wanted the government to utilise the opportunity to bridle the CPI(M), which found itself in the vortex of schism in the aftermath of the RMP leader’s murder.

At one point of time, the CPI(M) leadership found itself on the back foot by the determined moves to “fix” its district leaders, who are, admittedly, the mainstay of the party.

By the time the charge sheet was filed, only P. Mohanan, Kozhikode district secretariat member, was named as accused, prompting Congress leaders like Mr. Sudhakaran to accuse the then Home Minister of helping the CPI(M)’s middle-rung leadership escape.

Mr. Radhakrishnan had his own rationale for handling the case the way he did, but in the process he did not endear himself to the Congress leaders from Malabar, including Mr. Sudhakaran and Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, who perceive the CPI (M) as their number one political enemy.

The Congress leaders are worried that the verdict, irrespective of the nature of the sentence, will end up adding more strength to the district leadership of the CPI(M) now that it stood exonerated. The persistent demand for a CBI investigation should be viewed in this context.