Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM is understood to have taken a serious view of power minister M.M. Mani’s outbursts against Devikulam sub-collector Sreeram Venkataraman in connection with the Munnar eviction operations even as the opposition UDF came out in support of the official. The minister’s comment that most places of worship stood on unauthorised land that the official who tried to clear them should be sent to a mental asylum virtually undermined the decision of the high level meeting held on Friday to go ahead with the operations. The meeting had also mandated that Mr Mani, who is from the district, will be consulted during the operations. It became clear that it will be untenable for the team to go ahead with the work till the minister held the view.
Realising this, CPM state secretary Kodieyri Balakrishnan on Sunday criticised Mr Mani’s statement and said he should have kept in mind the fact that the sub-collector was an official and he a minister. Several political leaders including CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC president M.M. Hassan, former KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran, BJP state president Kummannam Rajasekharan and RSP leader N.K. Premachandran came in support of the official.
CPI national secretariat member Panniyan Raveendran said that those who say anything for publicity should care for the posts they held. “The place of those who do not value their posts will be in the trash,” Mr Raveendran said. Mr Chennithala said that it was for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to decide whether Mr Mani should remain a minister. Mr Hassan said that the language used by Mr Mani was undemocratic. “How can a minister speak in such a language,” he asked. Mr Sudheeran said that Mr Mani had become a liability and shame for the state by stating that the young IAS officer was a shame to the people.
Mr Kummanam Rajasekharan said that Munnar was governed by money power. “Efforts are on to isolate the people who stand for truth and justice,” he said. Referring to Mr Mani’s remarks that the Devikulam sub-collector was an RSS worker, Mr Rajasekharan said it was a recognition for the organisation. Mr Premchandran MP said that the CPI which supported the anti-encroachment drive had proved that it believed in communist ideology. CPI assistant secretary Prakash Babu recalled the words of Jesus Christ: “Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose asked the government to put Mr Mani behind bars for his acts....