Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Kerala state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday called Lok Sabha Speaker and former party member Somnath Chatterjee as the "biggest traitor of the party".
The comment came during a rally in Kerala when state Cooperation Minister G Sudhakaran said that "traitors have no place in the party".
Asked if the comment was a direct attack on Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, who has opted to stay away from the state-wide rally, Vijayan said: "Somnath (Chatterjee) is the biggest traitor of the party. Please don't compare Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan with Somnath."
"No, it is not Achuthanandan but Somnath to whom Sudhakaran was referring," he said.
The CPI-M had expelled Chatterjee from the party in July 23 last year following the trust vote in parliament. The CPI-M leadership said the action was taken under Article 19 (13) of the party constitution as Chatterjee did not quit the speaker's post during the trust vote in parliament after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) went ahead with the India-US civil nuclear deal -- prompting the Left to withdraw support to the government.