Pinarayi Vijayan defends SFI amid Opposition criticism in Kerala assembly

Pinarayi reminded the Opposition that the SFI grew in strength not by setting up “torture rooms”, but by countering the attacks of KSU, the student wing of Congress.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi VijayanPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Under attack from all quarters for its “tyranny” on campuses across Kerala, the SFI found a saviour in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who staunchly defended the outfit in the state assembly on Thursday, alleging desperate attempts to single out and tarnish his party’s student arm. The CM’s speech drew flak from the Opposition who accused him of giving the green signal to the SFI to continue its “violent and barbaric” style of functioning.

Pinarayi reminded the Opposition that the SFI grew in strength not by setting up “torture rooms”, but by countering the attacks of KSU, the student wing of Congress. The CM’s detailed reply came after Opposition UDF sought to corner him over the attack on a KSU leader by SFI workers at the Kariavattom campus of the Kerala University, saying Pinarayi was patronising and validating all violent activities of the student outfit.

Strongly countering the accusation, Pinarayi justified both the SFI and the police. He said the police acted diligently to control the volatile situation without any political bias. “The clashes on campuses are condemnable. Those responsible should face action. But facts should not be distorted by putting all blame on a particular outfit,” he said.

Attempting to turn the tables on the Opposition, Pinarayi said the SFI has lost 35 members just because they worked for the organisation. “Has KSU undergone any such experience? When everyone was condoling the death of Dheeraj Raveendran, who was murdered, a KPCC leader had said Dheeraj had asked for it,” he said, adding he will not justify SFI if it did something wrong.

In response, Leader of Opposition Satheesan said criminals are having a free run on campuses, setting up torture rooms and denying space to rivals.

‘CM’s speech doesn’t suit his designation’

"After the CM’s speech today, no one will block them. His speech doesn’t suit his designation,” Satheesan said.

During the Nava Kerala Sadas, “You had justified even those who killed children and beat up youngsters. You thought you were Maharaja. Kerala has reminded you that you are not,” Satheesan said referring to the electoral setback suffered by the LDF in the recent Lok Sabha poll.

To this, Pinarayi sprang up and replied that he is a servant of the people. “I am with them all the time. Will do anything for them,” he said.

Earlier, Congress’ A Vincent moved a notice for an adjournment motion to discuss Tuesday’s alleged attack on KSU leader San Jose by SFI activists in a locked room in the Kariavattom campus.

After Speaker A N Shamseer denied permission for the adjournment motion, Opposition MLAs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans and banners. As the ruling members countered, the speaker swiftly wrapped up the proceedings and adjourned the House for the day.

Tit for Tat

Pinarayi Vijayan

  • The Congress vandalised Mahatma Gandhi’s photo at Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad office

  • The person recently arrested in the AKG Centre attack case is a strong follower of the KPCC chief

  • Preventing Congress, KSU workers during Nava Kerala sadas was a ‘rescue act’.

V D Satheesan

  • Did SFI workers go to garland Gandhiji’s picture? It was done to please Sangh parivar

  • Who ransacked the memorial of P Krishna Pillai? It’s your people.

  • That’s an open admission that you won’t change.

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