A worker of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused of being involved in the murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary was made the branch secretary of the party in Kerala, The News Minute reported on Tuesday. The decision was made at a meeting in Palakkad.

S Jayakumar is believed to have played a role in seven cases of murder. He was the first accused in the murder of BJP workers Radhakrishnan and Vimaladevi in 2016. Jayakumar and a few others had allegedly set the bikes that were parked outside Radhakrishnan’s house on fire. The flames spread to the house and eventually burnt the entire structure, killing Radhakrishnan and his sister-in-law Vimaladevi.

The Left party’s leaders said Jayakumar was wrongly accused in the case and did not commit the crime. “He was implicated in the case only because he is a CPI(M) party worker,” MB Rajesh, a party MP from Palakkad, said, adding that Radhakrishnan and Vimaladevi’s deaths were accidental, not planned political murders.

Jayakumar was elected the secretary of the CPI(M)’s Chadayankalai branch committee in Kanchikode. A branch committee is the lowest level in the cadre-based CPI(M)’s organisational structure. Officials told Scroll.in that meetings of these committees are being held across Kerala at present. Soon, meetings of local committees, area committees, district committees and state committees will be held before the Party Congress in Hyderabad.

The BJP said this elevation was shocking, and that it goes “against all the democratic norms known in this country”.