Thiruvananthapuram | Strains in CPI(M)-CPI relations in Kerala over the response to ‘bar bribe’ allegation against Finance Minister K M Mani sharpened today with CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan hitting back at the Left ally which had accused the senior partner of shying away from a combined agitation by the LDF over the issue. What provoked the CPI(M) was recent statement of CPI state secretary Panniyan Raveendran that the lead partner of the LDF was engaging in adjustment agitations instead of lining up the entire LDF to take on the UDF Government.
The comment was seen as veiled attack on CPI(M) for adopting a soft approach to Mani, who heads Kerala Congress (M) which is a major partner in the ruling Congress led UDF. Addressing a press meet here, Vijayan said CPI leader’s statement had only the weight of a street corner harangue and those who were making such comments were oblivious of the positions they held.
We have never conducted any adjustment agitation. We have not struck adjustment with anybody. We don’t know about others, Vijayan said in a veiled reference to commotions in the CPI state unit over selection of party candidate for the last Lok Sabha polls. Vijayan also said the CPI was still not free from the hiccup of its past ties with the Congress.
The CPI(M) leader recalled that the party had demanded a police inquiry into the allegation against Mani under judicial supervision. Biju Ramesh, working president of Kerala Bar Hotels Association, had this month gone public with the charge against Mani who has sent a lawyer’s notice to him, asking him to withdraw his allegation that bar owners had paid Rs 1 crore as bribe to him for decisions that would help their business.
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