Sabarimala row: Vijayan hits back at BJP, asks rank and file to end violencehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/sabarimala-row-vijayan-hits-back-at-bjp-asks-rank-and-file-to-end-violence-5526011/

Sabarimala row: Vijayan hits back at BJP, asks rank and file to end violence

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hit back on Sunday, saying that the BJP national leadership should ask its rank and file to end violence if that party has an iota of allegiance to the Constitution and commitment to the people.

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

A day after the BJP warned that CPI(M) and Kerala government would face consequences under constitutional provisions over the recent violence in the wake of the entry of two women of menstruating age at Sabarimala temple, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hit back on Sunday, saying that the BJP national leadership should ask its rank and file to end violence if that party has an iota of allegiance to the Constitution and commitment to the people.

In a Facebook post, Vijayan said the state government was discharging its Constitutional responsibility by implementing the Supreme Court order (on entry of young women at Sabarimala). “It is strange that those who are trying to create violence to torpedo the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict are threatening the government that it would face consequences under constitutional provisions. Threatening a government which is implementing its Constitutional responsibility is against the Constitution,” he wrote.

Vijayan said that after unleashing violence across the state, the same BJP and RSS have been saying that the law and order situation in Kerala has worsened and threatening that the Union government would interfere.

He alleged there was a conspiracy to foment communal riots in Kozhikode and elsewhere in Kerala. The Sangh Parivar was trying to implement the strategy it had successfully tested in North India, but that plan will not work in Kerala as the government will quash violence and attempts to create communal riots, he said.

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The CM’s post came on a day Union minister Smriti Irani alleged that the LDF government was arresting BJP workers for raising their voice against the state.

Meanwhile, the Congress central leadership said the sentiments of the people of Kerala must be heard. On Sunday, Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said, “We believe that law and Constitution is supreme, but belief and tradition of people, particularly the people of Kerala, have to be married in congeniality with the existing law and Constitution…”

The Congress high command and its Kerala leadership had been airing divergent views on the Sabarimala controversy.

The Congress also hit out at the BJP and CPM-led Kerala government, accusing the former of perpetrating violence and the later of abdicating its duty to maintain law and order.

The Nair Service Society also slammed the state government, alleging that it was responsible for the violence in the state.

Meanwhile, the police continued the crackdown on those who had engaged in violence and damaged property during the hartal called by Sangh Parivar and various Hindu organisations. A police spokesman said the number of cases has gone up to 1,869 and the arrested to 5,769 till Sunday evening.

CPM leader held

A local CPI (M) leader has been arrested on charges of attacking a mosque in Kozhikode district.

According to police, CPI(M) branch secretary M Athuldas, 23, threw stones at the mosque during a Congress protest march at Perambra on Wednesday, when Sangh Parivar organised a hartal in protest against entry of women at Sabarimala. A group of CPI(M) men led by Athuldas allegedly moved against the Congress march and targeted the mosque in the scuffle.

Charged with Section 153 A of IPC (promoting communal enmity), Athuldas was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday. Athuldas is also a district-level leader of DYFI, the youth wing of CPI(M).

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Congress district committee president T Siddique said the CPI(M) was copying the act of Sangh Parivar in North India, and demanded a thorough probe. —With inputs from New Delhi