Kochi: Stepping up its attack against Electricity Minister MM Mani after he rejected opposition's demand to quit following a court's refusal of discharging him from a 34-year-old murder case, Congress on Monday alleged that his presence in the CPI(M)-led LDF government would weaken the trial into the charges against him.
"Mani is an accused in a murder case. He must quit. It is necessary to ensure proper justice in the case," KPCC Chief V M Sudheeran told reporters in Kochi.
He alleged that Mani's presence in the government would help him "pressurise" witnesses and Investigating Officers.
"We strongly believe that there will be efforts to influence the witnesses," Sudheeran said.
Mani has rejected opposition Congress and BJP's demand that he quit after a court in Thodupuzha refused to discharge him as an accused in the 34-year-old murder case, saying he would fight the case both "legally and politically".
Noting that Mani is the second accused in the case related to the murder of Youth Congress leader Anchery Baby in November 1982, Sudheeran said that his continuation in the Ministry raises "moral, ethical and legal" questions.
"So the Chief Minister should seek his resignation from the Ministry or he should be sacked," the KPCC president said.
Sudheeran also asked the CPI(M) central leadership to explain their stand on the issue.
The state unit of CPI(M) heading the LDF regime, has rallied behind Mani, saying the demand for his resignation was "politically motivated".
"The demand is politically motivated. The case existed when Mani contested the state Assembly elections. There is nothing new in the court verdict. The demand for his resignation has no basis and he can continue as Minister," CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said, soon after the verdict on Saturday.