KOCHI: Amidst the debate sparked by the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said he personally favours abolition of the capital punishment as being jailed was a "big punishment" in itself.
The chief minister, however, said that since he was a Congress worker, he has to follow the party's line on the issue.
"Personally, I am against the death penalty. Because spending time in prison... being jailed, is in itself a big punishment," the Congress leader told PTI.
"There should be an open debate on the issue," Chandy said when asked about divergent views expressed by the leaders of various parties in this regard.
However, regarding the matter of the capital punishment to Memon, he said, "As long as I am a Congress worker... I will have to agree with the party's views on the matter." His comments come after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor faced BJP's ire for saying he was "saddened" by the news that "our government has hanged a human being".
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha's move to sign a mercy petition in favour of Memon, too, was deprecated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who said that the act had "embarrassed" the party and it was "extremely sad" that the actor-turned-politician had gone against the party line.
Memon, the lone 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict whose death sentence was upheld by Supreme Court, was hanged to death on July 30, capping dramatic last-ditch legal manoeuvres by his lawyers to stall his execution.