Facing heat from the party's top brass, Communist Party of India - Marxist stalwart in Kerala V S Achuthanandan on Thursday publicly admitted that he had committed "organisational mistakes" on issues related to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and the murder of an expelled party leader.
Achuthanandan's admission comes two days after the CPI-M central committee censured him for defying the official line on these issues.
"I acknowledge the organisational fault on my part as self-criticism and accept the disciplinary action taken by the party on the Kudanmkulam power plant issue," Achuthanandan, who turns 89 later this week, told reporters.
Achuthanandan, a former chief minister, had also come under attack for deviating from the party's line at the CPI-M's two-day state committee meeting that ended on Wednesday.
"I agree that it was an organisational mistake on my part to make an attempt to visit the KNNP to pledge support to the people agitating against the plant at time when the party had taken a stand in favour of the Indo-Russian project," he said.
Achuthanandan said it was also a fault on his part to have compared state party secretary and his bete noire Pinarayi Vijayan to S A Dange, who presided over the split in the undivided Communist Party of India in 1964.
Achuthanandan, who is the Opposition leader in the assembly, has been censured by the party central committee twice in the last three months, first over the 'Dange' remark and then on the Kudankulam issue.
On the issue of the murder of T P Chandrasekheran, who had floated his own outfit Revolutionary Marxist Party after being removed from CPI-M, he said it was a mistake that he visited the house of the slain leader at Onjiayam in Kozhikode on the day of the Neyattinkara assembly by-poll, where the CPI-M led Left Democratic Front candidate lost in March.
Achuthanandan said he was openly admitting his mistakes as the party wanted him to do so to clear misunderstandings among the party cadres. Party general secretary Prakash Karat had also asked him to publicly clarify his position, he said.
He, however, said people behind the murder of Chandarsekheran should be exposed. Most of the accused arrested in connection with the murder are CPI-M activists.
The CPI-M central committee had stated that the party itself would hold a probe to find out whether it had any role in the murder.
Asked whether the admission of the mistake would be taken as a surrender before Vijayan, Achuthanandan said, "You (media) can express which ever way you want".
Achuthanandan said he was not sad to admit his mistakes. "I have been in the party for a long period and have done so many good things for the people. I have no hesitation in admitting mistakes if I had committed them," he said.