CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday denied having received any letter from party veteran V S Achuthanandan, seeking action against Power minister M M Mani, following a local court rejecting his plea for discharge in a murder case. Yechury said in Delhi that he had not received Achuthanandan’s letter in this regard.
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“The party has already taken a stand on the issue that they will appeal to a higher court. The Kerala unit will take the right decision,” he said. Achuthanandan had reportedly written to Yechury, stating that it was ‘ethically and morally incorrect’ for Mani to continue as minister as he was the second accused in the murder case.
The CPI(M)’s central leadership’s stand comes in the wake of a growing clamour from opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala, seeking Mani’s resignation following the court verdict. Meanwhile, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said it was “very surprising that Yechury had not received VS’s letter”.
The CPI(M) state leadership had stood behind Mani after the court in Thodupuzha passed the verdict on December 24, with state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan maintaining that there was no bar on Mani continuing as minister. “There is no need for Mani to quit office,” he had said.
Sudheeran had also written to Yechury urging him to direct the party’s Kerala unit to seek Mani’s resignation. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said Mani’s continuation as minister was a ‘challenge’ to the judiciary and people.
“This is the first time in Kerala’s history that a person accused in a murder case is continuing as a minister,” he had said. Mani was made a minister last month after resignation of Industries Minister E P Jayarajan on charges of nepotism.
CPI(M) state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has already rejected the demand for Mani’s resignation.