BJP, RSS should respond to killings of CPM workers: Kodiyeri Balakrishnan

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 18 (PTI): The ruling CPI-M in Kerala on Wednesday hit out at the BJP over the “political violence” in the state and said the saffron party’s chief, Amit Shah, should respond to the death of Left party workers in “attacks” by RSS and BJP activists.

Countering Shah’s remark that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should take responsibility for the “killings of RSS and BJP workers”, CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the BJP president and the RSS should respond to the “killings” of his party’s workers.

He was speaking to reporters here. Terming the ‘Jana Raksha Yatra’ of the BJP that concluded yesterday a “failure”, he claimed that political violence in the state had gone up after 1970 and alleged that the RSS had a major role in it.

“A total of 214 CPI-M workers were killed by the RSS during the period,” the CPI-M leader said, adding that there was an attempt to tarnish the image of the chief minister. Balakrishnan described Shah as a “forest tiger” trying to project himself as a “ponman” (a little bird), by preaching the message of peace.

Taking a dig at Shah, he said, “The BJP president who came as a lion at Payyanoor in Kannur in the beginning of the Yatra, returned yesterday as a rat.” Accepting Shah’s challenge to debate on development issues, the CPI-M leader said Kerala was in the forefront in social and other sectors compared to any of the states ruled by BJP in the country.

Flaying the BJP leaders for their statements that Kerala was a land of “love jihad” and “jihadi terror”, he said the “false campaign” of the saffron party was not against CPI-M, but a challenge to the people of the state. To counter BJP’s “false” propaganda, the party-led LDF would organise ‘Jana Jagran Yatra’ in all the 140 assembly constituencies from October 21, Balakrishnan announced.

However, the CPI-M leader dismissed the possibility of joining hands with Congress to take on the BJP and RSS, and said the Left would land in trouble if it ties up with the former. “Today’s Congress leader is tomorrow’s BJP leader,” Balakrishnan said, wondering how the party can move along with them (Congress).

The CPI-M wants a movement of democratic and secular forces to face challenges of the Sangh Parivar in the country.      The BJP chief had flagged-off the 15-day-long yatra at Payyannur in Kannur on October 3, to highlight the ‘Left’s atrocities’ under the CPI(M)-led LDF rule. The padayatra had criss-crossed 11 districts in the state with four chief ministers, including Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, senior party leaders and Union ministers taking part in the high-pitched campaign against the ruling LDF.

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