Union Minister of state for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran on Monday said the law-and-order situation in Kerala was "not very sound" and asked the state government to take firm steps to address the issue.
"I stick to what I had said on law and order situation in Kerala and my remarks yesterday in Thrissur should not be viewed as one to tarnish the image of state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan or his Ministry," he said in Kozhikode.
The recent concerns expressed by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was a pointer to the fact that there were some lapses on the law-and-order front and the issue must be firmly dealt with, he said.
"My remarks are just an affirmation of what the chief minister and the Home Minister had said on the matter. They were not intended to hurt the feelings of the home minister, who is a long-standing friend of mine," he said.
The union minister said Balakrishnan should take firm steps to address what the latter had termed as "shortage of able officials" to carry out investigations. The Centre would extend support by exchanging required intelligence information.
Balakrishnan had said in Thalaserry yesterday that Ramachandran should not have spoken like a local Congress leader and that his comment was "irresponsible and totally devoid of facts".