Youth Congress workers show black flags To Kerala CM; outfit alleges assault by CPI(M) workers

Youth Congress workers show black flags To Kerala CM; outfit alleges assault by CPI(M) workers

Kannur (Ker), Nov 20 (PTI) A group of Youth Congress workers were arrested on Monday for allegedly waving black flags at and jumping in front of the cavalcade of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, following which they were reportedly attacked by CPI(M) workers using helmets, sticks, and stones.

Vijayan and his cabinet were travelling through Pazhayangadi area of this north Kerala district as part of the Nava Kerala Sadas, an outreach programme of the state government, when the Youth Congress members demonstrated.

After the incident, Vijayan, while addressing a massive gathering at Taliparamba here, claimed that those who jumped in front of his cavalcade had received specific instructions and had an agenda. He said the Congress will not be able to 'belittle the success' of the event by waving a black flag.

He also told the gathering to expect more 'dubious' plans of provocation in the coming days and appealed to his party workers to maintain restraint.

'They very well know that showing a black flag will not belittle the success of this event. They want to create an issue and I request everyone here not to get provoked by such incidents. They want to divert attention from this massive outreach programme,' Vijayan said.

'This event started just two days back. We have more than 30 days to go. We can expect more of such dubious actions creating provocations. I urge everyone to maintain restraint,' Vijayan said.

The CPI(M) state secretariat also echoed similar views in a statement and said the Congress party was trying to disrupt the Nava Kerala Sadas by creating trouble.

'It's highly condemnable that a democratic event organised by the state government is being targeted by the Congress,' the statement said. The event was held to inform the public of the Left government's achievements and to address the grievances of the general public.

'Cutting across political lines, people are attending the event. Even UDF leaders are taking part in it. The UDF leadership, which got disturbed by the huge success of the event, is making Youth Congress workers to create issues,' the CPI(M) said.

The police said they have launched an investigation into the entire incident.

The injured Youth Congress workers have been admitted to a private hospital in Taliparamba, they said.

The Youth Congress also alleged that a few of their workers were taken into preventive custody by the police earlier in the day.

Condemning the incident, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan said this reflects poorly on the state of affairs in Kerala, as it appears that a group of people linked to the CPI(M) engaged in a physical attack against workers of the Youth Congress and the Kerala Students Union (KSU), including women activists.

It's a humiliating incident for Kerala, Satheesan said in a statement.

He proclaimed that black flags would be shown to the chief minister all the way to Thiruvananthapuram if Youth Congress workers were physically targeted. PTI RRT TGB RRT ANE

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