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CPI asks Sonia to clarify stand

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 9. The CPI State executive has asked the All India Congress Committee president, Sonia Gandhi, to clarify her party's stand on the allegations of sexual exploitation of a minor girl against the Industries Minister, P. K. Kunhalikutty.

Briefing mediapersons after the executive committee meeting here today, the CPI State secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, said the Congress leadership's silence on the issue was `most despicable'.

He also asked the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leadership to show that it was wedded to political morality by asking Mr. Kunhalikkutty to step down.

Moral values

The Muslim masses could never tolerate such behaviour and it was for the IUML leadership to rise to the occasion and uphold the high moral values that the community has always cherished, he said.

Mr. Bhargavan said his party was of the view that the whole issue should be left to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

DGP flayed

He came down heavily on the Director General of Police, Hormese Tharakan's statement that no action could be taken against police officials on the basis of the report submitted by the ADGP, Alphonse Louis Erayil, in the light of the decision to order a judicial inquiry into the attacks on mediapersons and said there was no legal bar on taking action against officials who had failed to protect journalists.

The CPI, he said, would continue its agitation over the issue till Mr. Kunhalikutty stepped down. The Chief Minister, he alleged, was shielding the Minister using the police and the administrative machinery instead of registering a case for rape against him and dropping him from the Cabinet. This was nothing but a challenge against the will of the people, he said.

United stand

Mr. Bhargavan said the CPI would place its proposals for a united stir to press for Mr. Kunhalikutty's removal from the Cabinet at the Left Democratic Front State committee meeting here tomorrow and added that there was no question of the Opposition going back on its demand.

Asked to comment on the CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan's remark that the former chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Women and Children, Meenakshi Thampan, had accused CPI(M) members of her committee of having tried to protect Mr. Kunhalikutty, Mr. Bhargavan said since Prof. Thampan herself had responded to Mr. Vijayan's remark, he did not feel it necessary to go into it again.

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