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Kerala CM defies party stance on controversial PDP leader

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram | March 25, 2009 19:33 IST

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Kerala [Images] Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, who is also a member of the Communist Party of India � Marxist  politburo, has openly come out against the CPI-M's stance on  People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madani .

The veteran leader, while fielding questions at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, said that the government would investigate whether any cases were pending against Madani.

Earlier, state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had given a clean chit to the PDP and claimed that no cases were pending against Madani. Political observers believe that Achuthanandan's open defiance of the party's stance is a shrewd move to undermine state CPI-M secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who had recently shared the dais with Madani during an event.

An unabashed Madani welcomed the chief minister's statement and called upon the veteran leader to conduct investigation on his antecedents and activities. He denied the charges about his links with militants and about the PDP being a communal organisation.

The Congress has also faced considerable embarrassment due to the controversial leader, after the Left Front published photographs of Madani with senior Congress leader and Union Defence Minister A K Antony, taken in 2001.

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