A day after his outrageous reaction to the anger of a grieving father, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan showed no remorse, saying he did not plan to apologise or take back his words.
Turned away from the house of slain National Security Guard Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan in Bangalore, the CM had said: “If not for Sandeep, not even a dog would have gone there.”
On Tuesday, the CPI-M expressed regret. Party general secretary Prakash Karat, who spoke to Achuthanandan, said the remarks were “regrettable”.
The CM’s aides sought to control the damage by claiming he’d been “misquoted”. A party source, quoting Achuthanandan’s political secretary K.N. Balagopal, said the CM had spoken in Malyalam and had actually said “had it not been for the slain commando, there was no reason to visit the family”.
But the CM, in Hyderabad on an official visit, remained defiant. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I have full respect for Sandeep’s family. There is no question of apologizing.”
The CM’s stand has put the party in a bind and it is likely to instruct him to tender an unconditional apology at the earliest. “The damage has already been done. The party will be forced to take action if he continues his defiance,” a senior leader told HT.
Tuesday also saw the Opposition try to raise the issue in the assembly. However, Speaker K. Radhakrishna said that since the CM was away, the issue could be taken up only on Wednesday.
With inputs from Zia Haq, Delhi