Thiruvananthapuram, May 27: The CPI-M in Kerala censured its Idukki district secretary M M Mani for his controversial speech in which he stated that there had been instances of the party eliminating political rivals.
As the party is faced with deep embarrassment over Mani's utterances at a public meeting, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan today said Mani had committed a "mistake" and his speech was a "deviation" from the party's political line.
Mani's speech had sparked a raging political row in Kerala with the Congress and BJP saying it exposed CPI-M's "politics of violence". His statement had come at a most difficult time for CPI-M in the state as it was on the defensive with some of its activists arrested in connection with the murder of party rebel and RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan.
Addressing reporters here, Vijayan made a strong call to party cadres, leaders and functionaries to refrain from making controversial statements at a time when the party was under a grim attack from its enemies. Vijayan said the party had grown over the years resisting attacks from various quarters, but countering violence with violence was not the policy of CPI-M.
The Congress-led UDF Government had taken note of Mani's speech. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said this "disclosure" was a serious matter and legal steps would be taken on it.
Mani, a senior leader in the high-range Idukki district and known to be close to Vijayan, made his controversial speech at a public meeting held at Thodupuzha on Friday.
He also made some adverse comments on VS Achuthanandan in his speech, alluding to the factional feud in the state unit of the party which has recently intensified.