As the CPM's three-day plenum draws to an end at Palakkad after discussions focussed on matters lofty and moral, the party organ, Deshabhimani, featured an advertisment from a murder-accused businessman on Friday.
The front page of the publication features an advertisement of the Surya Group of Companies, featuring also a picture of V.M. Radhakrishnan, who heads the company, wishing the party all success at the plenum.
Radhakrishnan, charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation with murder, is currently out on bail.
Radhakrishnan began his career as a small-time contractor with the Palakkad-based Malabar Cements, and later rose to control all major contracts of the profit-making cement manufacturer. He also entered into close association with top political leaders, across parties, in the state.
P.C.George, chief whip of the Congress, said the advertisement was a sign of the hypocrisy of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
"They say the plenum is discussing how best to bring a new face to the party, and to improve moral conduct, and their newspaper carries an advertisement of a murder-accused man. No one can beat the CPM, because they say one thing and do something else," George said.
Meanwhile, Radhakrishnan claimed that there was nothing new in the reaction to the advertisement: "I give advertisements to all newspapers, like Veekshenam (Congress party organ), Janayugam (CPI), Janmabhoomi (BJP)."
"Please check the Deshabhimani newspaper, even as the CPM boycotts all programmes of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, that newspaper carries all state government advertisements, and even carries photographs of the chief minister," he said.