KANNUR: The all-party peace meeting called by the government in the wake of Youth Congress leader S L Shuhaib’s murder came a cropper as UDF leaders staged a walkout after an altercation with CPM leaders. Though the meeting proceeded after the UDF boycott, the absence of the Congress and its allies left a gaping hole in the process.
The trigger was the presence of Rajya Sabha MP K K Ragesh on the dais along with Ministers A K Balan, Ramachandran Kadannappalli, Collector Mir Muhammed Ali and SP G Shiva Vikram.When DCC president Satheesan Pacheni asked Balan whether people’s representatives were also invited, he didn’t get any answer. Pacheni repeated his question and asked whether Ragesh was present as a people’s representative. When the minister didn’t respond, CPM district secretary P Jayarajan answered that Ragesh was there as a CPM representative. Then, Pacheni said that his question was directed at the minister and not Jayarajan.
Pacheni asked the minister to ask Ragesh to step down from the dais if he was there as a CPM representative. At this stage, Jayarajan intervened again, saying they knew that the Congress had come to the meeting with “big intentions”. This led to an altercation between UDF and LDF leaders. Jayarajan also asked the Congress leaders whether they had come to the meeting to enact a drama.
Meanwhile, UDF MLAs K C Joseph, Sunny Joseph and K M Shaji entered the hall and asked Balan why they were not invited if people’s representatives are participating. As the situation got worse, Ragesh said he will get down from the dais and was ready to sit among other representatives. But furious over Balan’s stand, Pacheni and other leaders such as K Surendran, P Kunhi Muhammad, V K Abdul Kader Moulavi and Abdul Karim Cheleri walked out.