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T P Chandrasekharan murder case: HC verdict could cost CPI(M) dear

Political analysts feel that the verdict could affect the prospects of CPI(M), especially in Vadakara, where the brutal murder took place in 2012.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 15:48 IST

Thiruvananthapuram: It was a striking coincidence that the Kerala High Court's verdict enhancing the sentence of CPI(M) local leaders and other convicts in the murder of CPI(M) dissident leader T P Chandrasekharan came on the same day the party formally announced candidates for the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday.

The verdict has once again raked up the murder politics, which may prove costly for the CPI(M) in the polls.

While Congress decided to make it a key issue in the election campaign, CPI(M) is expressing hopes that the issue would not make any impact on the polls.

Political analysts feel that the verdict that came just ahead of the polls could affect the prospects of CPI(M), especially at Vadakara constituency in Kozhikode, where the brutal murder took place in 2012.

CPI(M) has fielded popular leader and former health minister K K Shailaja, popularly known as Shailaja Teacher, who had won with a record margin in the Assembly polls and was even considered as a Chief Minister probable, at Vadakara this time to wrest the seat from Congress sitting MP and senior leader K Muraleedharan. 

Chandrasekharan was murdered brutally by inflicting over 50 hacks and stab injuries at Onchiyam in Vadakara on May 4, 2012. The Kerala HC on Tuesday enhanced the sentence of nine accused to 20 years without remission and also awarded life-term to two CPI(M) local leaders who were now found guilty.

The court also highlighted the barbaric nature of the murder to settle political scores as Chandrasekharan quit CPI(M) and formed Revolutionary Marxist Party, which tore into the CPI(M)'s vote banks.

Chandrasekharan's wife K K Rema, who is now an MLA, is determined to fight the case further to expose the real conspirators. She points fingers at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was the CPI(M) state secretary at the time of the brutal murder.

Veteran political commentator M N Karassery told DH that the HC verdict has made TP (as Chandrasekhar was widely known) live again. Hence it will definitely have its impact on the CPI(M) across Kerala, particularly in Vadakara and adjoining constituencies.

He also feels that the decision to field Shailaja could be a political ploy of her political rivals within the CPI(M) to either lower her popularity with a defeat at Vadakara or to keep her away from state politics.

Shailaja, who is trying to highlight her contributions as health minister, especially in tackling Nipha outbreak in Kozhikode and Covid's first phase, expressed hopes that the voters of Vadakara would prefer to discuss other pressing political and development issues rather than the TP murder case. But Muraleedhran, as well as the Congress leadership, made it clear that they would raise TP murder as a key campaign issue to expose CPI(M)'s murder politics. The strong stand of TP's wife Rema would also be a cause for concern for the CPI(M). 

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(Published 28 February 2024, 15:48 IST)

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