Pinarayi, CPM flay attack on Rahul's office, but Congress fumes

L-R: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. A screengrab of SFI activists' attack on Rahul Gandhi's office in Kalpetta.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPM leadership have condemned their students organisation's (SFI) attack on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's office at Kalpetta in Wayanad on Friday.

"This is a land where democratic protests are allowed. But violence is wrong. Those found guilty of the attack will face strict action," CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement soon after the incident.

LDF Convener EP Jayarajan also disowned the act of vandalism, dubbing the march as 'unnecessary'.

"The ED (Enforcement Directorate) is hunting him (Rahul Gandhi). CPIM has taken a stand against the hunting of political leaders using ED. We have strongly opposed the Centre's misuse of power," Jayarajan told media persons.

"I have to look into the details of what happened there. But there was no reason to march at Rahul Gandhi's office. Absolutely no reason," Jayarajan added.

'Barbaric attack'

Meanwhile, the Congress leadership has strongly opposed the attack. MLA T Siddique is leading a sit-in blocking a highway in the district in protest.

"Ghastly attack by SFI goons at Rahul Gandhi's MP Office at Wayanad," said Opposition Leader VD Satheesan, who alleged that SFI had the protection of the police to attack, ransack, and loot.

"The attack was the result of a conspiracy hatched in the Chief Minister's office," Satheesan said.

He added that the attack was purposefully planned in the context of the fresh investigation into the gold smuggling case. "This was a way to keep the BJP Central leadership happy," Satheesan allied. "They are just trying to ingratiate themselves with the Sangh Parivar."

Further, he wondered what the SFI had to do with buffer zone regulations. "Is it in any way related to education," he asked.

"It is lawlessness and goondaism. CPM has turned into an organised mafia. Strongly condemning the attack," tweeted Satheesan.

He said if the SFI was keen to protest against the buffer zone regulations they should have actually marched to the Chief Minister's residence and not to Rahul Gandhi's office.

He said that the cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister on October 23, 2019, had given in-principle approval to declare an area of one kilometre around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as ecologically sensitive zones.

"It is this decision that has now come through a Supreme Court order," Satheesan added.

Senior Congress leader and former leader of opposition, Ramesh Chennithala termed it a "barbaric attack by CPM goons". He said the act of vandalism "shows the desperation of CPM party. These goons should be immediately arrested and strict action needs to be taken," Chennithala tweeted.

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