In his first public reaction after being suspended from the CPI(M) politburo, Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan on Sunday said he accepted the party's decision and admitted it was a mistake to air differences through the media.
The 84-year-old Marxist veteran also likened the party's action to suspend him and state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Ssturday's to "punishing children" when they "commit mistakes".
Vijayan has not yet reacted publicly to the unprecedented action taken by the party's highest body to send a strong signal that it will brook no indiscipline after the two leaders resorted to open criticism of each other violating the norms of the party.
"Our mistake was that we brought this conflict through the media," the chief minister said.
"The party is like a parent or a teacher who will punish their children when they commit mistakes. It is part of the correction process. We wholeheartedly support the party decision," Achuthanandan said on the sidelines of a function on Sunday.
"It was natural to commit occasional mistakes while serving the people and the country. It was for the party to detect mistakes and lead partymen in right direction," he said.
Asked if the action was due to the prolonged infighting in the state unit of CPI(M), he said the suspension was for issuing public statements.
The long-drawn factionalism in state CPI(M) took a bitter turn last week when Achuthanandan and Vijayan engaged in a wordy duel over leaking of the party and LDF deliberations to the media.