Thiruvananthapuram: As the opposition chorus for his resignation grew louder, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Wednesday denied having made remarks against the family of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, killed fighting terrorists in Mumbai, and accused the media of misinterpreting his statement.
"The media and opposition parties have twisted my statement,” Achuthanandan said in the state assembly.
“I have not made the dog remark. People who made it can swallow it,” he added.
The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are demanding Achuthanandan's resignation. The assembly again witnessed uproarious scenes, with opposition members shouting slogans against the chief minister. Speaker K. Radhakrishnan ended the day's session amidst the chaos.
A day after Unnikrishnan's grieving father chased away Achuthanandan from his Bangalore house, the chief minister told a TV channel in Malayalam: "Is there any rule that both the Karnataka and Kerala chief ministers should go together to his home? If not for Sandeep's house, not even a dog would have gone there."
Unnikrishnan, from the elite National Security Guard (NSG), was killed in fierce gun battles with terrorists who seized the Taj hotel in Mumbai in a terror drama that left 183 people dead.
On Tuesday, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat described Achuthanandan's remark as "regrettable" - a view that was echoed by several Communist politicians.
"Certain remarks made by Achuthanandan are regrettable," Karat said in a brief statement issued in Rajasthan where he is campaigning for assembly elections due on Thursday.
Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan made it clear that the chief minister should not have said what he said.
"Politicians should avoid such controversies. It proves that age is a factor in politics too," T J Chandrachoodan of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) said about the 85-year-old Achuthanandan.
Forward Bloc national secretary G Devarajan also called it an "old man's response".