SFI attack on Rahul's office may alienate people from CPM: Kodiyeri

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The CPM is apprehensive about the political fallout of the attack by the Students Federation of India (SFI) activists on the constituency office of Rahul Gandhi, MP, in Wayanad.

SFI is the student wing of the CPM.

Strongly condemning the attack, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Sunday said such incidents distance the party from the people.

"Such an attack should not have happened no matter whatever issues were there. If at all some party members were involved in the attack, strong organisational action will be taken against them," Balakrishnan told a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said the CPM-led government intervened in the matter properly. Citing the suspension of a police officer for the lapses on preventing the untoward incident, Balakrishnan said the government action was exemplary.

This is the first time the ruling party has issued an official statement on the incident though its senior leaders, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Left Democratic Front convener E P Jayarajan, had condemned the attack soon after it happened on Thursday evening.

Balakrishnan, however, said there was an attempt to isolate SFI on the basis of the incident. Flaying the Congress' ongoing protests against the CPM even after the party condemned the attack by its student wing, Balakrishnan said the opposition party wants the police to arrest those whom they point out.

'False campaign over gold-smuggling case'

On the latest developments in the gold smuggling scam in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is allegedly involved, the CPM leader said the opposition has been trying to cast a shadow of doubt over the government. "They are cooking up new stories every day. The Left front will rally the people against the opposition's false campaign," he said.

Wayanad party unit rapped

At the CPM state committee meet on Saturday, the party's Wayanad unit was criticised harshly for the attack on Gandhi's office which has put the Marxist party on the defensive.

The district leadership was slammed for being caught unaware of the protest march to the Congress leader's office. Even though Wayanad district secretary P Gagarin explained that they did not expect the protest march to go out of hand, the state leadership refused to buy that argument, sources said.

Gagarin said the SFI leadership had informed the CPM district leadership about the protest march.

A group of SFI workers led by Wayanad district secretary of the organisation, Jishnu Sasi had ransacked the office of Rahul Gandhi, who is the Member of Parliament from Wayanad.

Congress has also conducted state-level protest marches, which turned violent in many places of the state. As on Saturday night, 30 people were arrested in connection with the vandalism of Gandhi's office.

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