THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan and KPCC President V M Sudheeran were engaged in bitter spat after the latter mocked at the 93-year-old leader's decision to contest the coming assembly elections.
A day after Sudheeran's barb, the Marxist leader today hit back at him saying Sudheeran has dragged his name as he had no courage to tell Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who has served as a legislator for 46 years, to keep away from the polls.
Sudheeran yesterday cited the decision of 55-year-old three-time Congress MLA T Prathapan to opt out of the contest in the May 16 polls and sought to know Achuthanandan who had served as Chief Minister, Opposition Leader and MLA for several years, was not following such an example.
Reacting sharply to the KPCC chief's barb, Achuthanandan asked Sudheeran and the Congress not to worry about him.
"I am contesting the polls as per the decision of my party and there is no need for Sudheeran and Congress to worry over it,"he said.
Seeking to turn the tables, he said the real intention of Sudheeran was that Chandy should not contest the polls.
"This is the 11th time Oommen Chandy is going to contest the polls. Real intention of Sudheeran is that Chandy, who has been a legislator for 46 years, and served as Opposition leader and Chief Minister, should not contest. But as everybody knows, Chandy never gives any value for the words of Sudheeran," Achuthanandan said.
Sudheeran has lost the courage to talk directly to Chandy and that was why he was "misusing" his name, he said.
Reacting to Achuthanandan's remark, Sudheeran said the society was debating why Achuthanandan was not keeping away from positions.
"With all respect to Achuthanandan, I only point out that fact incidental. There is no need for Achuthanandan to get upset over it," Congress leader said.
Prathapan, who represented Kodugallore constituency, in a letter to KPCC and in an e-mail message to AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi informed his decision to opt out of the contest.
When contacted, Prathapan told PTI that his decision was to give chance to new faces, youth and also women workers in the party.