Congress asks BJP, CPI-M to end bloodbath in Kerala

Kozhikode: The Congress on Sunday asked the BJP and CPI-M in Kerala to immediately end violence that the two parties are engaged in, as peace and tranquillity have vanished in the State.

The Congress came down heavily on both the parties after the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party called for a shutdown on Sunday, following a 34-year-old Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader’s murder here on Saturday night.

The police have taken into custody five suspected Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists and the two vehicles used by them.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday began a day-long fast here to protest the bloodshed that the BJP and the Left party have been engaged in.

“Both the parties (BJP and CPI-M) should lay down arms immediately as annihilation politics practised by them has reached very dangerous levels,” said Chennithala.

The dawn-to-dusk State-wide shutdown, announced by State BJP President Kummanem Rajashekeran, has paralysed life in Kerala.

Normal life has been hit in the State, with public transport off the roads and very few private vehicles moving around, as the BJP and RSS activists are out on the streets.

The political violence between the two parties in the past two weeks had been limited to Kannur and an uneasy calm prevailed in the district.

On Friday night, CPI-M councillor IP Binu attacked the State BJP headquarters, following which BJP activists stoned the residence of CPI-M State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son.

“The need of the hour is to end the violence. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Rajashekeran should sit and talk. The police under Vijayan have been a dismal failure,” Chennithala said.

“The BJP, caught in a medical scam, and the incompetent one-year rule of Vijayan are the root cause of the violence as both the parties want to cover up their failures,” he added.

The police have directed citizens to ensure that they do not engage in activities like spreading false messages on social media, and warned of strong action against those indulging in violence.