Senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran has denied CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan's charge linking him to a notorious gangster.

Mr. Sudheeran told reporters that he had always taken stern positions against mafia gangs, goons and corrupt elements throughout his political career. “I do not know the gangster Pinarayi Vijayan has referred to. Besides, I have been particular about the source of funds for my elections and have never accepted any funding from such elements,” he said.

The reports to this effect had been published in a section of the media two years ago quoting police sources. But the matter did not go beyond that and no further investigation was pursued. He said it was unfortunate that a leader holding a responsible position of a responsible party should have made such wild charges. “There was a time when Marxist leaders used to quote from Marx and Engels to justify their political position. I pity Vijayan for relying on a deposition by a notorious gangster to justify his stand,” Mr. Sudheeran said.

Ready to face probe

He said he was prepared to face any kind of investigation into the charges. Unlike Mr. Vijayan he was not afraid to face such inquiries or trial by courts.

Mr. Sudheeran said the CPI(M) had declared that it would correct its mistakes in the aftermath of its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. The results were actually an anti-Vijayan wave. Such correction steps would not have any credibility if Mr. Vijayan and the Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the duo who are at the helm of affairs, continued in their posts, he said.

Mr. Sudheeran also criticised the Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan for his silence as he had been chained by his party. He wanted Mr. Achuthanandan to take the initiative and perform his duties as enjoined by the Constitution.

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