The issue of political violence involving members of the ruling CPM and the BJP rocked the first day of the Kerala Assembly today, leading to its adjournment after Congress-led UDF opposition stalled proceedings.
Slamming the state government for the present spurt of political violence, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala equated the cycle of violence between CPM and BJP activists with the ‘blue whale’ game that leads teenagers to death. The Congress alleged that police had failed to check recurrence of violence while Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan maintained that stringent action had been taken against offenders irrespective of party affiliations.
Vijayan said there was a “deliberate attempt to portray” Kerala as a trouble-torn area, which he said, would have an adverse impact on the state’s development prospects. Hitting out at the BJP and the RSS for the violence in the state, he said it was a conscious attempt to divert the attention from the graft allegations against its party members over the issue of grant of MCI clearance to a private medical college, which shook the BJP’s state unit recently.
“The allegation that the law and order situation in the state has collapsed was false and baseless. There was no continuing communal tension or political violence in the state. Whatever happening is isolated incidents,” he said.
Not satisfied with the reply of the Chief Minister that law and order situation was stable, opposition members stood up and moved towards the well of the House raising slogans and displaying banner stating “end BJP-CPM violence and restore peace in the state”.
As the disruption by the opposition members continued, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan took up other business slated for today and adjourned the House for the day ahead of schedule.
Vijayan, while replying to a notice of adjournment motion moved by Congress MLA K Muraleedharan on the alleged collapse of law and order situation, said everyone should unite to defeat the “planned move” to tarnish the image of Kerala.
Incidents like lynching in the name of food and religion were not happening in the state because of its strong secular consciousness of the general public, he said.
Referring to the all-party meeting held here yesterday, the Chief Minister said all political parties extended full support to the peace initiatives taken up the government to end political violence.
However, Vijayan said police alone could not end such violence completely and it needed the support and cooperation of parties. He also exhorted everybody to eschew violence.
Rejecting the opposition charge that police remained mere spectators, he said all accused in these incidents had been taken into custody. Moving the notice for motion, Muraleedharan highlighted the recent murder of RSS functionary Rajesh Edavakkod and attacks on state BJP office, house of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son and houses of BJP and CPM councillors here recently.
Chennithala charged that the chief minister had “stooped” to the level of party secretary. He wanted Vijayan to rise to the position of a “statesman. Then only the political violence in the state will end”, he said.
Taking a dig at the CPM and the BJP, he said with political violence, the Left party gave a chance to the saffron party to “save its face” from corruption charges against their leaders over MCI clearance to a private medical college at Varkala near here.
The Congress leader also criticised Vijayan for meeting Governor Justice P Sathasivam when he had summoned him in the aftermath of political violence in the state capital. Before staging a walkout, lone BJP MLA, O Rajagopal accused the state government of politicising the police force, which he said, was the main reason for the attack against its cadres.
Later talking to reporters outside the House, the veteran leader said BJP had not raised the demand for the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
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