CPM Kerala state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has raked up a controversy by calling on party workers to get themselves trained for combat. Speaking at Payyanur in Kannur district of North Kerala, the scene of at least two political murders this month, he said: “If someone comes to attack us, they should not go back as they came.”
The speech has incenced the BJP, which has been engaged in a pitched battle with CPM cadres in Kannur, mired by political violence for many decades, has lodged a compalaint with the state DGP and demanded that a police case be filed against the Left leader. Incidentally, Balakrishnan was the Home Minister in the last LDF government in Kerala.
Asking CPM cadre to prevent Sangh parivar’s moves in Kerala, the party stronghold, he said: “Our men and women must be given the required physical training and politics. That is the only way we will be able to take on the enemy.” The opposition parties are interpreting this as an open call to violence.
After meeting the BJP delegation comprising national executive committee member P K Krishnadas and state vice-president George Kurien, the DGP promised to look into the matter and take action if needed. The BJP has sought a case under Section 108 of the IPC, saying Balakrishnan was the only political leader in India who would ask his party cadres to take up arms.
Incidentally, CPM leader M M Mani had landed in soup after a 2012 speech in which he claimed that the party had in the 1980s drawn up a list of rivals to be eliminated and had even killed three of them. He was then removed as Idukki district secretary by the state committee.