Kozhikode, June 2 (IANS) Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan Saturday visited the home of former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, whose murder has been blamed on his own party.
As news of unannounced visit spread, hundreds of people from nearby areas flocked to Chandrasekharan’s house near here.
According to witnesses, former chief minister Achuthanandan appeared deeply moved when he met the murder victim’s distraught widow Rema and his aged mother.
Rema broke down while holding Achuthanandan’s hands. She related the family’s distress since her husband was killed May 4 by men linked to the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Once photographers had clicked away, Achuthanandan politely asked the media to leave.
He was then closeted for 45 minutes with Chandrasekhara’s family and colleagues from Revolutionary Marxist Party, which the murdered man formed in 2008 after quitting the CPI-M.
Later, Achuthanandan went to the place where Chandrasekheran was cremated. He did not speak a word to the waiting media.
When the former chief minister reached the spot, supporters of the slain leader shouted slogans hailing the late Chandrasekharan as well as Achuthanandan.
The crowd was so thick that Achuthanandan, who heads the opposition in the assembly, had to walk a fair distance after getting off his car.
A popular leader in and around Kozhikode, Chandrasekharan quit the CPI-M after questioning its ideology and methods.
Since then, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who heads the anti-Achuthanandan faction in the party, publicly declared Chandrasekharan as a ‘renegade’.
After Chandrasekharan was murdered, Achuthanandan called him a “true communist”. He was the only top leader of the CPI-M who went to pay homage to the murder victim.
Rema later told reporters that Achuthanandan’s visit should not be given any political interpretation.
“He came to console us and we told the difficulties faced by our party workers here. He gave us a patient hearing,” she said.
The visit coincided with a tough triangular contest in the Neyattinkara assembly constituency.
Before Achuthanandan went to Chandrasekharan’s house, Vijayan and CPI-M politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai and Vijayan met him.
“We discussed a lot of things but do not wish to discuss it with you,” Pillai told inquisitive reporters.