Leaders call for united efforts to ward off ‘hate politics’

Political leaders across parties in Kerala urged the public and politicians to stand united as political enmity distorts normal life in several locations of the State. The friction which began on Friday as attacks against Communist party leaders’ houses by BJP-RSS workers in Thiruvananthapuram has culminated in a person losing his life. E. Rajesh, 34, reportedly an RSS worker, was severely injured in the attack and was hospitalised immediately. However, he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night. So far eight persons from both cadres who perpetrated the attacks have been arrested and more number of people has been noted by the police.

Governor P. Sathasivam had summoned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and State Police Chief Loknath Behra in his office at Raj Bhavan to discuss the issue and following this, Pinarayi Vijayan met state BJP leaders at Mascot Hotel in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. BJP MLA O. Rajagopal, BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekharan and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak chief P. Gopalan Kutty were in the team which met the CM in the morning. An all-party meeting to discuss the issue will be held on August 6 in Thiruvanathapuram, Kottayam and Kannur.

“The path of peace and that of aggression are diagonally opposite. It won’t do any good for the political parties which adopt the path of aggression. The BJP will never tolerate such offensive behaviour and the meeting today discussed the need to urgently instil peace in the affected areas, especially in the parts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Kannur. The act of vandalising residences, offices and vehicles is highly condemnable and the meeting has decided to put an end to such acts by both the party workers,” said O. Rajagopal MLA speaking to The Kochi Post. He further said that other parties which are not in power either at the State level or at the Union level want to make political gains out of the situation.

CPI(M) MLA P. Aisha Potty, representing Kottarakkara Assembly Constituency,told The Kochi Post that the Government was adopting every possible means to instil the lessons of peaceful politics in the younger generation. “The time is ripe for political parties to ward off hatred and aggression. There are many other things which need immediate attention such as building schools and other necessary facilities. It is immaturity to act aggressive when we require united efforts to build stronger societies.” She further said that she had great hope in the Left-led State Government and lauded the party decision to suspend the councillor who was arrested on charges of vandalisation. Aisha also condemned those people creating bigger political enmity out of smaller, resolvable issues between individuals.

The recent incidents of attacks and massive vandalisation were kick-started after BJP activists began attacking the residences and party offices of Communist party leaders earlier on Friday. The Left supporters in retaliation have also reportedly caused damage to vehicles, residences and offices of BJP leaders in the capital. Police had on Friday arrested four persons including CPM local leaders in connection with the attack on BJP leaders. The arrested leaders include Corporation Councillor I. P. Binu and SFI leader Prajin Saj Krishna. Binu has been suspended from the party in connection with the case.

It has been reported that leaders from both the cadres have been hospitalised following the attack. House of CPM State Secretary’s son Binish Kodiyeri was also vandalised by the BJP-RSS workers. CITU leader Shyam, DYFI area secretary Unni and CPM leader Rasiya Begum were pelted with stones and got injured during the attack which commenced on Thursday night. Houses of BJP councillors S. K. P. Ramesh and Beena were reportedly damaged in the attack. Some police personnel have been suspended for their inaction during the vandalisation spearheaded by the political party supporters and workers.

Blame game

Meanwhile, party leaders and supporters in the State have started blaming each other accusing of masterminding the attacks. While the Left cadre consistently said that the whole incidents were well-planned attempts by the BJP to
destabilise the State Government by instigating violence and to divert public attention from the bribery allegations the party faces in the state, the BJP leaders alleged the attacks which resulted in the RSS worker’s murder were supported by the top leaders in the CPM. On the other side, the Congress has pointed fingers at both the CPM and the BJP for patronising murder politics in the State.

Cover Image of Aisha Potty by By Fotokannan (Own work)[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.  O Rajagopal’s image from his official page

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