Updated: June 20, 2021 8:56:25 am
A war of words has started between Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress’s new state unit president K Sudhakaran as the duo go down the memory lane — of muscle-power politics in their younger days in their home district of Kannur.
A day after Vijayan said Sudhakaran had plotted to kidnap his children, Sudhakaran hit back on Saturday and asked the CM to maintain the “dignity of his post”.
Addressing the media, he asked a series of questions: “Why did Vijayan not inform the police if he had heard that I had planned to abduct his children? Why can’t Vijayan reveal the name of my friend who had told him about the plan? If children were facing a threat, why did Vijayan not share that information with his wife? It is unbecoming of his position as the Chief Minister to raise such an allegation.”
On Friday, Vijayan told the media that Sudhakaran had tried to abduct his two children when they were in school. “One day, Sudhakaran’s friend came to me and told me that he (Sudhakaran) had a plan to abduct my children, who were then school-going. I told him my approach is wait and see. I didn’t tell anyone, including my wife (then a school teacher),’’ said Vijayan.
The Chief Minister was reacting to Sudhakaran’s claim that in 1967, during their days as students of Government Brennen College, Thalassery in Kannur, Sudhakaran had knocked down Vijayan.
Sudhakaran recounted his college days in an interview in the latest issue of ‘Malayala Manorama’ weekly. Then a student leader, Sudhakaran said his men had beaten up Vijayan, who had to be rescued by police.
Countering him, Vijayan said, “The incident that he had knocked me down might have happened in his dream. How can he boast that way? Sudhakaran knows he cannot defeat Vijayan.’’
The Chief Minister said late Congress leader P Ramakrishnan had said that Sudhakaran had joined politics with an aim to make money. “Sudhakaran deals in foreign currency and has links with the sand mafia,” he asserted. “Leaders are afraid of him…. KPCC member Mambaram Divakaran had revealed that Sudhakaran had tried to annihilate him…”
About the allegation that he deals in foreign currency, Sudhakaran said: “Vijayan’s office in fact got involved in gold smuggling. Swapna Suresh (key accused in the gold smuggling case) had accompanied Vijayan in all his trips abroad in four years of his first regime. Even then, he was feigning ignorance about (knowing) her.”
Stating that Vijayan has emerged from “the veil of public relations agency” during his press conference on Friday, the Congress leader said, “His language and style were that of a political criminal. The allegations against me should be probed. It was not me, but Vijayan who had carried bullets in his bag.”
Sudhakaran also alleged that Vijayan was an accused in the murder of Vadikkal Ramakrishnan, an RSS worker killed in 1969 at Thalassery.
Opposition leader in the Assembly V D Satheesan of the Congress and BJP state president K Surendran said the Chief Minister has raised the issue only to divert attention from the controversial felling of a large number of protected trees from government-assigned land.
Sudhakaran also brought before the media Congress’s Kannur district committee secretary Kandoth Gopi, who claimed that Vijayan had hacked him in 1977 when he led a protest against termination of beedi workers from the CPI(M)-controlled Kerala Dinesh Beedi. Showing a wound on his hand, Gopi alleged that Vijayan was apaprently carrying a sword and “targeted my neck — I got injured in the hand when I tried to save myself.”
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