Thiruvananthapuram, March 30 (IANS) The spat between former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and state Electricity Minister M.M. Mani continued on Thursday with Mani slamming the former.
Over the years, Mani was a loyalist of Achuthanandan camp when the factional feud between Achuthanandan and current Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was at its height till 2006.
Mani crossed over to the Vijayan camp when the party veteran during his tenure as Chief Minister from 2006 to 2011 went on a demolition drive in and around the hill station of Munnar, which is the citadel of Mani.
Since then the two have not had the best of relations, and it all went for a toss ever since media reports surfaced that encroachment in Munnar in the past few years has peaked. Achuthanandan pointed out that Mani and local party legislator S. Rajendran lead the list of land usurpers.
Mani on Thursday told reporters that he has been asked by his party to keep quiet and not to reply to the comments from Achuthanandan.
“But at times, I loose my control and speak. Achuthanandan is 93-year-old and his memory is failing. There is no encroachment in Munnar. He has a specific agenda and that’s why he is against me. Even Oommen Chandy was more considerate to me,” said Mani.
“For long Achuthanandan was up in arms against the Tata Tea and speaking about their encroachments. We have led several strikes on that issue, but now Achuthanandan appears to have forgotten about it and is silent on Tatas,” added Mani, who for close to two decades was the Idukki district Secretary of the Communist Party India-Marxist and is known more for his loose tongue.
In a related development, Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala has written to the state government to conduct a probe into the allegations that Rajendran’s land is an usurped one.
The Congress-led opposition is holding a daylong protest at Munnar on April 4 against the encroachments and they will be making the best of the spat between Achuthanandan and Mani as the assembly session is beginning from the third week of April.