Remove Kerala minister accused of murder: Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 7 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday wrote to CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to seek the removal of Electricity Minister M.M. Mani, who is an accused in a murder case.

Yechury has been in the state capital for the past two days for the Communist Party of India-Marxist Politburo and Central Committee meetings.

A court had dismissed Mani’s petition in the last week of December seeking discharge in a case relating to the murder of a Youth Congress leader in 1982.

Chennithala, Leader of Opposition in Kerala assembly, said in his letter: “… former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has also written to you about the morality of Mani’s continuation as a minister. But your CMI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said the case was registered even before Mani became a legislator and hence need not resign; but this is unconstitutional.

“He (Mani) will perhaps be the first minister to face trial while being in the Cabinet. You should please direct (Chief Minister Pinarayi) Vijayan to remove him,” said Chennithala, who is Leader of the Opposition in Kerala assembly.

The Congress leader said both the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court had dismissed Mani’s petition to seek quashing of the FIR.