In a bid to emerge as the main opposition to the Left in Kerala, BJP national president Amit Shah on Tuesday kicked off a 15-day march to highlight the CPM’s alleged violence against his party workers on the first day of his three-day stay in Payyanur, a communist stronghold. Launching ‘Jan Raksha Yatra’ (people’s protection march) from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s home town in Kannur district, Shah criticised the chief minister and his party for “political murders” of the BJP and RSS workers.
“More than 84 BJP and RSS workers have been killed in the district alone. I want to ask Pinarayi Vijayan…Who has killed them? If he does not have answers, then I am saying that the chief minister is responsible for the killings,” said Shah, who was later joined by a large numbers of party workers as he walked over nine kilometres.
Shah met the family members of RSS-BJP workers killed in the political violence in the state and also inaugurated an exhibition organised in their memory. He also announced a ‘padyatra’ over the issue in other state capitals from tomorrow.
“Communists have destroyed a peaceful Kerala, more than 120 BJP and RSS karyakartas have been murdered in Kerala so far,” Shah alleged. “I want to tell CM Pinarayi Vijayan that the more they try to muddy the political environment, more the lotus will bloom in Kerala,” the BJP president said.
He also appealed to the people to oust the Left party from power and bring in a BJP government for peace and prosperity. He stated that yatra would mark the beginning of the end of the CPM’s politics of violence.
Seeking to corner the ruling alliance, Shah also alleged that political violence and Left governments go together and said that the state has witnessed political violence whenever the Left rules.
Highlighting that Kerala is the land of great saints and social reformers such as Adi Shankara, Sreenarayana Guru and Chattambi Swamikal, Shah alleged that the state has been turned into a state of bloodshed with the rise of the Left.
He also launched a blistering attack on human rights activists, accusing them of maintaining silence over the violence against the BJP and RSS workers and asked them to ignore this perception that “red violence is not violence”. He said the silence of the activists over the killing of more than 120 BJP workers working on a “nationalist agenda” is a question mark on their allegiance.
According to the BJP chief, the ‘Jan Raksha’ yatra is a ‘satyagraha’ against the atrocities and the killings by the CPM. Held under the theme of ‘All have to live! Against Jihadi-Red Terror’ from Payyannur, the yatra will travel through the state before ending in Thiruvananthapuram on October 17.
Meanwhile, the CPM hit back at the BJP national president, accusing him of “deliberately inciting violence” against its leaders and cadres. “Amit Shah is deliberately inciting violence against CPI (M) leaders and its workers. We are a recognised national party. We are here not because of Shah but because of the people. We will not tolerate this,” party leader Brinda Karat.
Karat also alleged that manufacturing of lies is flourishing under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah. “The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is not the victim, in fact a large number of CPI(M) cadres have been killed by the RSS. It wants to intimidate those who stand up against its terror tactics and communal hatred,” she alleged, insisting that the Left, communists, and people of Kerala will “never allow it”.
The BJP alleged that as many as 120 party workers have been killed in the state since 2001 with 14 of them in the chief minister’s home town since he took over the reigns last year.
With the Left and the Congress, the main opposition party in the state, maintaining a coordination against the BJP, the saffron party is aiming to become a potent force in the state by 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It had secured 10 per cent and 15 per cent votes respectively in 2014 Lok Sabha and 2016 assembly polls.
With PTI inputs