Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Thursday said the CPI(M) would be the biggest loser in the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala because of the highly deplorable manner in which it justified the brutal murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan.

Talking to The Hindu at Kalamassery near here, Antony said party’s use of hired goons to kill the rebel leader and its shameless justification of those who masterminded it had turned impartial voters in the State in favour of the Congress.

“In the past, CPI(M) was able to win a sizable chunk of impartial voters by convincing them about the brand of politics the party represented. The brutal murder of Chandrasekharan had hurt not just impartial voters but also a larger portion of party’s well-wishers. The party has blown the issue in a highly damaging way to its prospects. The issue may have been solved by tendering an unconditional apology and expelling those who plotted the murder. The party is digging its own grave,” said Mr. Antony.

When asked about the statement of CPI(M) polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechuri that it would be unlikely that a situation similar to that of 2004 would emerge with the Left supporting Congress to form a government, Mr. Antony modified his earlier stand that CPI(M) could support Congress to form the government by saying that CPI(M) would get very negligible number of seats and it would not have any role in government formation.

Maintaining that he was not in favour of a total disintegration of Left in the country, Mr. Antony said the Left had its own relevance in the past. “It can regain its relevance only by cleansing itself from its sins like murder politics. Also it has to reform itself from the dogma and degeneration,” he said. He said murder politics would not have any space in the modern world, where democratisation and tolerance are gaining wider acceptance. The politics of vendetta was haunting CPI(M) in West Bengal and Kerala, he said.

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