Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said that the arrest of former party Idukki district secretary M.M. Mani is the result of a political conspiracy by the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Talking to presspersons after visiting Mr. Mani at the Peerumade sub-jail on Sunday, Mr. Balakrishnan said there was a move to arrest party district secretary K.K. Jayachandran, MLA, and others. Leaders such as Mr. Mani were arrested as the UDF foresaw defeat in the next Lok Sabha election, he said.

If the UDF continued with such action, one cannot predict how many of its leaders would be in jail when there was a change in government. He said the political action with malice would be exposed and the party would not sit idle if political decency was violated, he said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) district secretary K.K. Sivaraman visited Mr. Mani on Sunday. AITUC State president C.A. Kurien also met Mr. Mani.

Mr. Kurien had vehemently criticised Mr. Mani for his speech at Manakkad, near Thodupuzha, where he had said that his party had made a hit list of 13 persons in the 1980s and that three of them had been eliminated. Mr. Mani was arrested in a case related to the murder of Anchery Baby, one of the three persons mentioned in the speech.

With the CPI leaders meeting Mr. Mani, the differences of opinion between the two parties had been buried for the time being. The CPI had kept away from a hartal organised by the CPI(M) in the district on Thursday to protest against the arrest of Mr Mani.