The CPI(M) on Tuesday pulled up Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan for hurting the sentiments of the family of a NSG officer slain during the Mumbai terror attack describing his remarks as "regrettable" but the octogenarian leader said he will not apologise.
Railway minister and RJD supremo also waded into the controversy after the chief minister remarked that "even a dog would not have glanced at that house had it not been (Major) Sandeep's(Unnikrishnan) residence" and demanded his removal.
As the insensitive remarks by the CPI-M veteran on Monday ignited a controversy, party General Secretary Prakash Karat said he had spoken to the chief minister.
"Certain remarks of VS Achuthanandan are regrettable.I have spoken to him over the phone on the matter," Karat said in a statement from Rajasthan.
Smarting under the snub from the angry father of the NSG officer Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, killed during a commando operation at Taj Mahal hotel, when he went to his Bangalore home to offer his condolences, the chief minister however said he respected the family of the slain officer.
On being asked by the media in Bangalore whether he would apologise, the chief minister said: "No, No."
CPI leader AB Bardhan also joined the chorus in the attack on Achuthanandan saying "it was unbecoming of a chief minister" but felt Sandeep's father should not have behaved in the manner he did. An angry K Unnikrishnan virtually threw the CPI-M veteran out of his Bangalore home on Sunday, a day after the officer's funeral.
Karat said Achuthanandan, a CPI(M) Politburo member, had "assured that he had no other intention but to go to the home of Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was brutally killed by terrorists in Mumbai, to pay homage and condole the family."
The controversial remarks also rocked the Kerala Assembly while youth outfits of Congress and BJP staged protests in Thiruvananthapuram.