As violence rages in Delhi, Amit Shah cancels Kerala trip

Home Minister Amit Shah during the 32nd Intelligence Bureau (IB) Centenary Endowment Lecture at Siri Fort auditorium, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Home Minister Amit Shah has cancelled his one-day Kerala trip in the wake of the escalating violence in Delhi.

The Home Ministry did not give any reason for the cancellation of the trip.

Shah was to take part in a condolence meeting organised by the Bharatiya Vichara Kendram for Sangh ideologue P Parameswaran, who passed away recently.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat is scheduled to address the meeting to be held at Uday Palace Convention Centre here at 5:30pm.

The move comes as violence escalated in North East Delhi, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than a hundred.

Shah, who was in Gujarat to attend the visit of US President Donald Trump, had rushed to Delhi to take stock of the situation as violence erupted.

He also skipped the customary reception given to Trump at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, hosted by President Ramnath Kovind.

The Delhi Police, which is controlled by the Union Home Ministry headed by Shah, had drawn flak for being mere spectators as pro-and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors clashed in several parts of the capital even as the US President was in the national capital.

Shah had held an all-party meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to curb the violence. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and leaders of major political parties were present.

Shah's visit to Kerala was also his first after K Surendran was appointed the state unit of the faction-ridden BJP.

Shah was expected to interact with the leaders and communicate to them in unequivocal terms that the BJP national leadership would no longer tolerate factionalism in the state unit.

The BJP is struggling to quell faction feuds in Kerala even after it appointed Surendran as the state chief.

Surendran is considered a backer of the faction led by union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan.

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