With a worker each from the BJP and CPM dead in different parts of Kerala in 36 hours since the assembly election results came out, leaders of the two parties traded charges in the national capital Saturday.
CPM worker K Raveendran, 53, had died in Pinarayi village of Kannur district on Thursday evening when the party brought out a procession to mark the Left Democratic Front’s victory in the polls. BJP worker V R Pramod, 37, of Kodungalloor in Thrissur, died on Friday following injuries sustained in an attack, allegedly by CPM workers, the day before in a clash during a victory procession.
Several activists from both parties were also injured in the clashes.
BJP and RSS workers brought out celebratory processions across Kerala after O Rajagopal won from Nemom constituency, giving BJP its first seat ever in the state.
Reacting to Pramod’s death, BJP president Amit Shah Saturday accused the LDF of violating the democratic spirit and the mandate in a series of tweets, while Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad convened a press conference to warn the LDF that BJP will not take the violence lying down and will “fight on the street”.
In a counter, former CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said, “…they (BJP workers) have been attacking our workers all over and to claim they are at the receiving end is totally false.”
On a day normal life remained affected in Thrissur district in a bandh called by BJP to protest Pramod’s death, party chief Shah said on Twitter: “…We are concerned about safety of our karyakartas and assure them our full support in their fight against an undemocratic Left regime. I have ordered constitution of a central committee which will visit and investigate this violence.”
Prasad said: “…CPM needs to recognise one thing very clearly: the BJP is ruling over the country and is ruling in 14 states… The BJP has very powerful electoral support in Kerala and we view this reckless attack on our cadre very, very seriously…We will expect the new government and the party to give a serious thought to it. Otherwise, we will fight on the street, in Parliament and the entire country.”
While BJP Kannur district president Sathyaprakash alleged that CPM worker Raveendran died in an accident and that the Left party was blaming the BJP for it, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said BJP workers have unleashed violence in many parts of Kerala, and that CPM activists have “no role in triggering violence at Kodungalloor, where a BJP worker died in a clash”.
Suggesting that the BJP has to understand that it is working in a multi-party democracy, CPI national secretary D Raja said, “There are non-BJP governments in many part of the country. LDF has won and the BJP is unable to come to terms with the result.”
With PTI inputs.