LoP slams Kerala CM remarks on assault on YC activists; calls him 'criminal'

LoP slams Kerala CM remarks on assault on YC activists; calls him 'criminal'

Kannur/Kochi, Nov 22 (PTI) Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan on Wednesday flayed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's remarks regarding the assault on the Youth Congress activists who waved black flags at him and called him a 'criminal'.

As Vijayan's cabinet colleagues justified his remark that DYFI workers were saving lives of the YC activists and did not assault them, Satheesan alleged that it shows the CM's 'cruel' mindset.

Condemning the CM's remarks, Satheesan said a day ago he had accused Vijayan of having a criminal mindset, 'but today I am saying he is a criminal.' 'A person who is calling for continuing such murder attempts is not eligible to sit in the CM's office. He should step down or publicly apologise for his statements,' the LoP contended.

The LoP further alleged that Vijayan's remarks admiring the DYFI workers' actions and asking them to continue the same in the future amount to 'instigating a riot'.

Meanwhile, Vijayan, after inaugurating the Nava Kerala Sadas in Mattannur assembly constituency in Kannur district, said the huge public turnout for the state government's outreach programme has upset the mental balance of UDF leaders.

The CM said the huge crowd at each venue indicates that people are convinced about the outreach programme.

'But some are feigning ignorance about it and there is no use in talking to them. You can only wake up those who are asleep.

'There is no point in trying to wake up those who are pretending to be asleep,' Vijayan said in an apparent dig at the Congress-led UDF.

Earlier in the day, Satheesan, addressing the media in Kochi, said while the CM termed the alleged assault as a life saving operation, the police have invoked murder attempt charges against those who brutally beat up the YC activists.

The Kerala police had on Tuesday registered a case against 14 CPI(M) activists here for allegedly assaulting the YC activists who had waved black flags at the cavalcade of Vijayan in Kannur district of the state.

Police have registered a case under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by the use of dangerous weapons or means), 307 (attempt to murder) among others.

On the same day, Vijayan at a press conference in Kannur claimed that workers of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) -- the youth wing of CPI(M) -- had actually saved the lives of the YC activists, who allegedly tried to jump in front of his cavalcade.

'It happened right in front of my eyes. The DYFI workers were trying to prevent them from jumping in front of the oncoming vehicle.

'They were saving the lives of the Youth Congress activists for which some force had to be necessarily used. It was not an assault. It was an admirable act on the part of the DYFI workers and my request to them is to continue the same,' he had said.

The CM's remarks were justified by state Industries Minister P Rajeev, Revenue Minister K Rajan and their cabinet colleague M B Rajesh, who told media in Kannur that Vijayan narrated what he had seen while sitting in the front seat of the bus.

Both Rajeev and Rajesh also pointed out that the CM also asked the party supporters and workers not to be provoked by such demonstrations and to exercise restraint.

Downplaying the CM's 'life saving' remark, Rajesh claimed that Vijayan only meant it as a joke, to which Satheesan reacted that such 'jokes' should not be made on a public platform.

Satheesan also alleged that Vijayan has become 'arrogant' and 'intoxicated' with the power he has and that is why he was making such statements.

'By his statement, he is instigating a riot. He is calling for continuing such brutal murder attempts,' he further alleged.

Satheesan said that one of the YC activists injured in the assault is presently in the ICU and the YC's district vice-president, a woman, had her arm broken in the incident.

He also termed the ongoing Nava Kerala Sadas -- an outreach programme of the state government -- as an 'obscene' play and a political campaign being carried out at taxpayer's expense.

Satheesan also sought to know why the ministers were accompanying the CM as they had no role in the whole programme.

'They (ministers) are not taking complaints. The complaints they had received in May-June as part of Adalats are still pending. So why are they tagging along?' he asked.

In response to this, Vijayan said that the taluk-level adalats received 76,551 complaints out of which 69,413 were resolved and only 7,138 remain to be examined.

He further said 10,026 complaints were received on Tuesday during the Nava Kerala Sadas held in four Assembly constituencies in Kannur district and the government has already put in place mechanisms for expeditious redressal of people's grievances.

As part of that, the Chief Minister's Grievance Redressal Cell in the Secretariat is progressing well, Vijayan claimed.

Citing figures in support of that claim, the CM said that 5,40,722 complaints were received till date in the grievance redressal cell started during the previous LDF government and out of them 5,36,525 complaints were decided.

'That is, 99.2 per cent of complaints were resolved. The remaining 4,197 complaints are being processed and they will also be resolved in a time-bound manner,' he said.

Both the Congress-led UDF and the BJP have criticised the state government and CPI(M) for conducting the programme when Kerala was in a financial crisis. PTI HMP HMP SS

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