Kerala political violence: BJP to step up heat on CPI(M), Jaitley to meet family of killed RSS man

BJP leaders claim that there has been a spike in the ‘targeted killings’ of RSS workers in recent times and 17 of them have died in such attacks in the past 17 months alone.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2017 23:41 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kerala political violence,RSS,CPI(M)
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Unioin finance minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit Kerala on Sunday and meet the family of an RSS worker, who was killed by alleged CPI(M) activists in Thiruvananthapuram last Saturday.

The BJP has alleged that 34-year-old E Rajesh’s hands were chopped off and his body bore 84 injury marks. The saffron party looks to corner Kerala’s CPI(M)-led government over increasing political violence in the southern state.

“We are not satisfied with the peace meeting that the chief minister has called,” Union minister Smriti Irani said and added that CM Pinarayi Vijayan was “not interested in stopping the murders, and feigned a constructed innocence about it and it is benefitting him politically”.

Home minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to Vijayan on Sunday, expressing concern over the law and order situation in the state. The BJP has also called for a state-wide shutdown on Sunday to protest Rajesh’s killing.

BJP leaders claim that there has been a spike in the ‘targeted killings’ of right-wing cadre in recent times and 17 of them have died in such attacks in the past 17 months alone.

“There have been five murders in CM’s village itself. They (Left) are in power, we have just one MLA. There is no match between our strength. Still, our workers are being killed,” BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said.

Sources told HT that the RSS was also concerned about the recent attacks on its workers and wanted the BJP to deal with the situation in an appropriate manner. Jaitley’s visit to Kerala is part of this exercise.

On Thursday, Kerala’s political violence also featured in the Lok Sabha where CPI(M) and BJP members clashed. New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi had on Wednesday criticised the CPI(M) for alleged targeted violence against BJP and RSS workers and described the southern state as “god forsaken country”.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, senior CPI(M) leader P Karunakaran took exception to some BJP members calling Vijayan and party’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury “terrorists” in the House on Wednesday.

There was a sharp exchange of words between the two sides and proceedings had to be adjourned for 20 minutes. When the House reassembled, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow Karunakaran to raise the issue again, saying whatever was said had already gone on record.

Protesting Left members then trooped into the well with CPI(M)’s Mohammad Salim being heard asking the Chair not to “succumb to pressure tactics” of the ruling party members. Mahajan then allowed Karunakaran to speak again.

He said the Kerala CM has been holding meetings with members of the RSS, the Left and other stake holders to end the violence in the state.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 23:41 IST