23 Dec : Under flak for his comments on slain NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s family, Kerala CM V S Achuthanandan has reversed his stand and expressed "deep sorrow and regret" over the pain caused to the officer’s kins.
"I express deep sorrow and regret over the pain caused to Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s family by certain remarks of me," the 85-year-old Marxist veteran told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday after the Congress-led UDF stalled the assembly proceedings, demanding an apology from him over his remarks.
Achuthanandan’s remarks that "even a dog would not have glanced at that house had it not been (Major) Sandeep’s residence," had caused uproar across the nation.
His clarification on Wednesday came shortly after he declined to tender an apology in the assembly, stating that his remarks were distorted by the media and exploited by the Congress and the BJP for political gains.
At the press meet, Achuthanandan claimed that he expressed regret on his remarks in the assembly itself but opposition sought to distort the issue by stalling the proceedings for political gains.
Achuthanandnan said he chose to convene the press meet to "clarify" his position. However, he declined to entertain questions from the media persons.
Earlier, replying to a question from leader of opposition Oommen Chandy in the Assembly, Achuthanandan said he had not used the word ‘dog’ against anybody.
CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat might have expressed "regret" due to the hurt he felt following the ‘media campaign’, he said when Chandy sought to know how come Karat stated that some of the remarks of Achuthanandan were regrettable.
The Chief Minister said that the entire controversy over the issue was an attempt to divert the attention from the failure of intelligence to prevent the terrorist strikes in Mumbai.
Narrating the sequence of events of his visit to Sandeep’s house in Bangalore, he said it looked like there was a deliberate attempt to create trouble.
"Still, myself and Home Minister Kodeyeri Balakrishnan went there and the response from Sandeep’s father Unnikrishnan was not good. But, I did not take his behaviour seriously," Achuthanandan said.
"Though, the behaviour pained me, I returned along with Balakrishnan without showing any signs of that. One more thing, I also came to know that when Karnataka Chief Minister visited the house, Unnikrishnan’s behaviour was not like this," he said.
"Later during an interaction with media, I made a remark that Unnikrishnan did not behave in a manner expected from a person like him," he said.Based on this remark, a campaign had been on in a manner insulting the people of Kerala and all politicians, he added.