CPM on the defensive over SFI attack on Rahul Gandhi’s office

1. Logo of CPM, 2. SFI

Thiruvananthapuram: The attack unleashed by the activists of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) against the office of Congress Leader and MP Rahul Gandhi, in Wayanad, on Friday, has put its parent party, the CPM, on the defensive just ahead of its State Committee meeting here.

The CPM leadership is reportedly disturbed with the developments and especially the ‘timing’ of the attack, alleging the Lok Sabha member's inaction on a recent Supreme Court directive mandating buffer zones around forests.

The CPM State Committee is to meet on Saturday and Sunday.

Many CPM leaders were shocked to learn about the violence that happened during the march of SFI activists to Rahul’s office in Wayanad. Its Wayanad District leadership is apparently embarrassed over the sensational attack that has made it to the national news.

The newly elected SFI leadership would be answerable for the attack before the party leadership. The march to Rahul’s office was led by the SFI district president and the secretary themselves.

Though the CPM State secretariat did not officially react to the incident, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Left Democratic Front convenor E P Jayarajan condemned the attack by the student wing of the party.

The reactions from the CPM circles indicate that the party has begun salvage attempts. Jayarajan was baffled over the motive of the attack.

However, those aware of the working pattern of the CPM and its feeder organisations will not accept any excuses either.

It is not easy for the CPM leaders to wash their hands of the attack. They had recently alleged that the in-flight protest by the Youth Congress workers against the CM was with the knowledge of the Congress leadership.

The Congress move, in the coming days, is to strongly protest the acts of ‘targeting’ Rahul Gandhi, by the BJP at the national level and the CPM in Kerala. The State Opposition has also unleashed severe criticism against the CPM and the Chief Minister, stating that the attack is with the knowledge of the leadership and was aimed to deflect the allegations over the gold-smuggling case.

The United Democratic Front is of the view that it was the decision taken by the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet in 2019 that led to the Supreme Court directive on buffer zones. The CPM fears the SFI’s attack would only help in accentuating the discussions around the same.

19 SFI activists arrested, CPM action to follow

Nineteen activists of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) have been arrested over Friday's raid on Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi's constituency office. Meanwhile, the CPM is set to take disciplinary action against its student-wing workers who vanadalised the Congress leader's office.

The arrested SFI members include its Wayanad district president Joel Joseph, district secretary Jishnu Shaji. More arrests are likely on Saturday.

The police have heightened vigil all across Wayanad district fearing counter-attacks. The United Democratic Front has organised a rally and meeting to protest against the SFI action. 

The national and state leadership of the SFI have denounced the action of its members involved in the vanadalisation.

"The state SFI leadership was not informed about the march organised by the district unit. We cannot tolerate the attack on Rahul Gandhi's office. It was an unfortunate incident. At the same time we denounce any move to scare away the SFI," its national committee stated.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi is set to arrive in his Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday. The Wayanad District Congress Committee will be according him a grand reception.   

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