The decision arrived at the CPI-M politburo meeting in New Delhi Sunday that there was no need for a CBI probe into the murder of a former colleague has put party leaders in Kerala in a tight spot.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan Thursday asked the state government to accept the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe demand made by the victim's family.
Party general secretary Prakash Karat, however, opposed the suggestion for a federal probe and told reporters in New Delhi Sunday that a CBI probe was being sought to harass CPI-M leaders.
"Everyone will understand the political motive behind this demand for a CBI probe," said Karat.
Former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekheran, 51, was stabbed to death May 4 near Kozhikode, around 400 km from here.
His wife K.K. Rema Tuesday sought a CBI probe into the murder, after police last month filed a charge sheet with a list of 76 accused, including several leaders. Her demand was supported by Achuthanandan.
A few days back CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechuri also made it clear that the party had no problem with probe by any agency. But his stand has now been contradicted by Karat.
Rema questioned the different voices in the CPI-M.
"Today the politburo says that there is no need for a CBI probe. So what does this difference of opinion show, first let the party come clean on these statements," said Rema.
Chandrasekheran was a CPI-M leader from Onchiyam near Kozhikode city who left the party in 2008 and formed his own Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP).
RMP leader N. Venu said: "With this statement from the politburo it is crystal clear that this murder took place with the complete knowledge and support of the state leadership of the CPI-M and hence they are opposing a CBI probe."
Rema's father K.K. Madhavan, who recently quit the CPI-M, opined that police officials may not be keen to take the probe to the next level and investigate the possible involvement of the state leadership.
"This is because every five years the power alternates between the Left and the Congress and it's only obvious that police officials here will not like to probe the conspiracy part," said Madhavan.
Among those accused in the case are P. Mohanan, husband of CPI-M legislator K.K. Lathika, and C.H. Ashokan, former secretary of the CPI-M-backed NGO of state government employees.
The charge sheet submitted in a Vadakara court claimed that the motive for the murder was the serious threat that Chandrasekheran's RMP posed to the CPI-M in the state.