Opposition, Kerala govt spar over Kannur bomb blasts, extremist forces

The assembly on Wednesday witnessed heated exchanges between the government and the Opposition over the recurring accidental bomb blasts in Kannur.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Express)
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Express)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The assembly on Wednesday witnessed heated exchanges between the government and the Opposition over the recurring accidental bomb blasts in Kannur. While the Opposition attempted to link the ruling CPM with the bomb culture in Kannur, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan mounted a counter-attack on the Congress accusing it of encouraging extremist forces such as the RSS and SDPI to disrupt the peace in the state.

The Opposition had given the notice to move an adjournment motion to discuss recurring bomb explosions in Kannur and the concern it had caused among the people. Sunny Joseph of the Congress who gave the notice, referred to the July 7 incident in Kannur where two Assam natives were killed in an accidental bomb blast. He also cited instances where workers of CPM and BJP were either killed or injured while making bombs.

In his reply, the chief minister wondered why the Congress was silent on extremist elements such as the RSS and the SDPI. He accused Congress of trying to blame the CPM alone for the explosions. Alleging that RSS and SDPI were behind most of the violent incidents in Kannur, the chief minister said they were making a concerted effort to undermine peace in the state.

“The notice (for adjournment motion) refers to the CPM but no word is said about any other party. Is he (Sunny Joseph) trying to establish that some of the blasts were apolitical ones?,” Pinarayi asked. The chief minister said this went on to prove Congress’ affinity towards extremist forces. Pinarayi also cited numerous incidents of violence and killings allegedly involving Congress workers while hitting back at the Opposition.

Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan used the chief minister’s own words to corner him. “If you say the RSS and SDPI are behind most of the explosions, then why has no action been taken against them in the cases registered?,” Satheesan asked. He added that 80% of the cases registered in connection with the bomb blasts, including those in which CPM men were killed, remained unsolved. Registering its protest over the denial of permission to move an adjournment motion on the issue, the Opposition later walked out of the assembly.

DEBATE OVER BJP
The war of words between the treasury benches and the Opposition in the assembly also centred around the BJP, with Pinarayi mentioning during his reply that the Congress could be easily bought over by the saffron party. Satheesan hit back at the chief minister by reminding him that it was Pinarayi himself who took the help of RSS to win the assembly election in 1977. “No Congress MLA has ever won with the help of fundamentalists,” Satheesan said.

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