Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today slammed the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala for the political violence in the state, accusing it of “using” its cadres to “eliminate” rival party workers.
At a condolence meeting here after visiting the family members of slain RSS worker Rajesh Edavakode, he said the RSS and the BJP could not be suppressed through violence. He also questioned the “complete silence” on the “continuing saga of violence in Kerala” of those who otherwise speak against any similar incidents in other parts of the country.
Jaitley charged the CPI-M with using its cadres to “eliminate its political opponents and creating an environment of violence” and added that the party needed to “introspect”. The minister blamed the ruling party there for the recent upsurge in violence in the state which saw the brutal killing of Rajesh by a gang on July 29 and attack on houses of several BJP and RSS workers.
Jaitley, whose visit to the state was widely seen as an attempt by the BJP to bring into national focus the issue of alleged increasing attacks on his party’s cadres by the CPI-M, said that the LDF government was yet to take steps to check such incidents. CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, however, alleged that the political violence had increased in the state after the visit of BJP President Amit Shah in early June.
The BJP was implementing “Amit Shah’s plan” in the state by allegedly attacking party strongholds, Balakrishnan said. While the state was blessed with the nature’s bounty, the challenge for any government would be how to make it the most prosperous in the country, Jaitley said. “But if the policy gets diverted and the prime concentration is to use the cadres of the ruling party to eliminate political opponents and create an environment of violence, then the party in power has to seriously introspect,” the minister said.
Jaitley, who visited the house of Rajesh, said the “karyakarta was “brutally butchered” and had 70-80 wounds on his body. Even an enemy of the country did not do this, he said, adding political workers of a rival political party were involved in this. “We are here to mourn the killing of Rajesh, whose sacrifice will remain with with us and inspire every karyakarta. We now owe a duty to his family to look after them,” he said.
“The same story repeats itself. What is the political environment intended to be created in the state?” he asked. There was a “saga” of violence in the state in the last few months, he said, adding BJP offices and party workers were being attacked. Jaitley asserted that such violence would not suppress the BJP, the RSS and others and would only increase the cadre’s determination to work harder.
“Those who perpetuate violence, must remember that our organisation, our political party and other sympathetic organisations have survived through generations despite these kinds of assault which have befallen us. This kind of violence will neither suppress the ideology, nor scare our workers and cadres,” he said.It was ‘unfortunate’ that not only this type of violence was going unchecked, many in the public space were adopting double standards in analysing the issue, Jaitley said.
“Those who regularly speak against any similar incidents in other parts of the country somehow are completely silent when it comes to the continuing saga of violence in Kerala’, the senior BJP leader said. “I have come here to express the solidarity of the central leadership with karyakartas in this hour of crisis. The central party fully supports you whichever way it is necessary. “I will once again appeal to you that those who have been murdered we must not forget them. We must continue to be inspired by their sacrifices,” he said. The minister earlier met and consoled the aged parents, widow and young children of Rajesh and spent some time hearing their problems.
He also met the family of another RSS worker Jayaprakash, who was seriously injured in an attack allegedly by the CPI (M). State BJP leaders, including president Kummanam Rajasekharan, accompanied the Union finance minister.
The RSS leadership has favoured imposition of President’s rule in the state on the ground that the law and order situation had collapsed under the LDF government led by Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam had on July 30 summoned the chief minister and state police chief Loknath Behra to ascertain the action taken in the backdrop of the murder of Rajesh and other violent incidents. They had apprised him of the arrests made in the murder case. The CPI-M alleged that the RSS-BJP combine was spreading a false propaganda on the issue of political violence.
To counter the BJP, the CPI-M today organised a dharna by the relatives of 21 party workers allegedly killed by RSS-BJP activists in the district and demanded that Jaitley should visit them also.The state had been witnessing a cycle of violence involving the BJP-RSS combine and CPI-M workers with the capital district being rocked by incidents of attacks on houses of rival party cadres.