After melee with SDPI, BJP picks up fight with LDF in Alappuzha

BJP candidate Anoop Antony, Sandeep Vachaspati paid floral tributes and allegedly raised "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" slogan at the Punnapra Vayalar Smriti memorial.
BJP candidate Anoop Antony, Sandeep Vachaspati paid floral tributes and allegedly raised "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" slogan at the Punnapra Vayalar Smriti memorial.

Alappuzha: Just days ahead of Kerala Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that its candidate Anoop Antony, contesting the April 6 state Assembly polls from Ambalappuzha constituency, was attacked by some CPI(M) workers, a charge dismissed by the Left party.

The party alleged that the incident occurred when Antony was engaged in election campaign at Mullackal area in the city in the evening.

Antony has been admitted to the General Hospital, Alappuzha, they said.

The CPI(M) rejected the charge, saying none of its party workers are involved in such incidents.

Police said the bonnet of Antony's car was hit by some unidentified persons and he was not physically assaulted.

After the incident came to light, BJP activists blocked the road at General Hospital Junction to protest the violence against their candidate.

The incident occurred when CPM workers were holding a protest march against the alleged trespassing of famous Punnapra Vayalar Smriti mandapam by a group of people under the leadership of BJP's Alappuzha Assembly candidate Sandeep Vachaspati, police said.

The memorial at Valiya Chudukadu here was built in memory of Communists killed during their movement against the 'misrule' of Sir C P Ramaswami Iyer, the prime minister of erstwhile Princely state of Travancore in 1946. It is jointly managed by the CPM and CPI.

Sandeep Vachaspati paid floral tributes and allegedly raised the "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" slogan at the place.

The Left parties condemned Vachaspati's act, accusing him of 'trespassing' into the memorial and aiming to 'humiliate' hundreds of Communist party members martyred during the uprising, while a police complaint was lodged against him by the CPI district secretary.

Vachaspati defended his act and alleged the memorial was the symbol of "biggest betrayal by the Communist leaders who had fled the scene after putting their innocent followers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and backward communities to face the guns of the Army.

Condemning the incident, CPM candidate from Alappuzha constituency P P Chittaranjan said the monument was a symbol of the greatest martyrdom of people who had laid down their lives for the freedom of the nation and the "deliberate act" of the BJP candidate was "aimed at sabotaging the peaceful electioneering process."

He said the Punnapra Vayalar uprising was part of India's freedom struggle and the BJP candidate "humiliated" the martyrs.

CPI District Secretary TJ Anjalose filed a complaint with the police against Vachaspati for "trespassing" the memorial.

This is the second political violence to rock Alappuzha. Last month, an RSS worker was hacked to death at Vayalar. Seven SDPI workers were taken into custody after.

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