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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Janmashtami: In Kerala, comrades discover Krishna

CPM has for the time decided to stage processions, under the banner of its children’s organisation Balasangam, on Sri Krishna Jayanti on September 5.

Written by Shaju Philip | Rome, Thiruvananthapuram | Published: September 2, 2015 3:59:30 am

Moving to counter the shift to the BJP by many of its supporters in Kerala, the CPM has for the time decided to stage processions, under the banner of its children’s organisation Balasangam, on Sri Krishna Jayanti on September 5.

Though the CPM maintains these processions are being staged to mark the valedictory event of the week-long Onam celebrations organised by Balasangam, sources said the choice of date is deliberate.

These processions, sources said, will aim to involve women and children of families loyal to the party and keep them out of the simultaneous processions organised under Balagokulam, controlled by the Sangh Parivar.

In Kannur last year, the CPM had gone door to door at several places, urging “CPM families” not to go to Balagokulam’s Sri Krishna Jayanti events. But many women and children from these families did attend the event. This time, the CPM has planned processions at 162 centres in Kannur alone.

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The CPM has been wary ever since the BJP raised its vote share in the assembly by-elections from Hindu-dominated Aruvikkara. To counter the BJP, it allowed two new recruits from the BJP in Kannur to conduct a Ganeshotsav — a departure from its ideology.

Senior CPM leader P Prakashan, also the patron of Balasangam, said the event should not be linked to the Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrations. “We will take out processions at many centres in Kerala, marking the conclusion of the Onam festival of Balasangam. It is only incidental that our Onam festival conclusion falls on Sri Krishna Jayanti,” he said.

RSS state general secretary P Gopalankutty said the CPM does not want its cadres to attend Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrations conducted by Balagokulam.

“We have been conducting celebrations for 35 years. The CPM fears that if CPM families attend the procession, it would accelerate their movement to the BJP. With a clear agenda, the CPM selected the day to conduct the valedictory event of the Onam celebration,’’ Gopalankutty said.

Kannur Superintendent of Police P N Unniraja said police have received 162 applications each from the two parties to conduct processions that day.

“We have decided police inspectors will decide the route for the CPM and the BJP to take out their processions. If the parties agree to the routes, they can conduct the processions. Otherwise, we will not give them permission for the event. The processions have to be arranged in a manner that they move on different routes,’’ Unniraja said.

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